'I feel betrayed by Minister Bennett,' says former Sask. Métis leader of Sixties Scoop settlement
Roubert Doucette says Métis people should also be included in settlement from feds
The former president of the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan says he wants Métis people to be included in the federal government's apology to, and financial compensation for, survivors of the Sixties Scoop.
"I want them to put the Métis on that whole spectrum of the apology and probably the compensation," said Robert Doucette. "I'm not sure whether all of us would be willing or eligible to take a compensation package. But you know, as I told Premier Brad Wall, an apology goes a long way."
Doucette says Métis people from all over the country waited in anticipation last week for federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett's announcement about the details of the $750-million settlement with First Nations and Inuit survivors of the Sixties Scoop.
That anticipation turned to disappointment when it turned out the Métis were not included in the settlement.
"I feel betrayed by Minister Bennett, this federal government and the lawyers who negotiated on this issue," said Doucette. "I think a lot of us, including our First Nations relations, are just simply in a state of shock that this would happen again to the Métis people."
Provinces have to play role: feds
The lead lawyer for the class-action plaintiffs who spurred the settlement has told CBC News that the reason the Métis were not included is that "there's no records to identify Métis during the relevant period of time."
The federal government, in turn, has said that because the provinces were also responsible for the Sixties Scoop, Ottawa can't offer a unilateral settlement to the Métis .
"This idea that they have to have the provinces included in this — when you go back to the lawsuit of Chief Marcia Brown Martel, it was exclusively for First Nations on reserve as I understand it," said Doucette.
"As this whole thing has unravelled, they now included the Inuit. The Inuit weren't included in that lawsuit. So if they could have included Inuit in the compensation package, why couldn't they have concluded the Métis?"
Doucette is sending a letter outlining his concerns to Bennett, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all MPs.
For him, the matter is intensely personal.
"Everything that has happened to First Nations and Inuit people in the this country has happened to Métis people," he said.
"My wife was taken away to residential school, her mom and her dad were taken away to residential school, her uncles and aunties were taken away, my grandfather was taken away to residential school and then I was taken during the Sixties Scoop — that's three generations of government policy was that was used against aboriginal people to destroy our families and to assimilate us."
Read Doucette's letter below. Can't see it? Click here.