From reporter Jason Warick:
A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of some of the thousands of First Nations people adopted out during the “60s scoop.”
So far, 57 plaintiffs from across the country have joined the suits filed against the federal government in various cities by Regina lawyer Tony Merchant.
“Those people . . . have been profoundly affected,” Merchant said in an interview Tuesday.
He said the Adopt Indian Metis (AIM) program took thousands of aboriginal children out of their families and communities. They were often placed in faraway non-aboriginal homes and “forced to be white.” Some of them were subjected to physical or sexual abuse, Merchant said.
Merchant said the AIM program was heavily advertised by the federal government. Many families thought they were doing the right thing by adopting a child and assimilating him or her.
“The goal of assimilating Indian children into mainstream Canadian society led to the obliteration of the culture, language and religion of Indian members of the Class (lawsuit),” states the lawsuit.
RELATED: John Spyglass at FIRST NATIONS CULTURE blog: AIM program – 60′s Scoop:
This type of forceble adoption and apprehension deserves the same legal practices, apology and payment as the Residential School System as both were developed through the policies of the Canadian Government and Indian Affairs Branch, which devastated the First Nations people and continues to this very day. The policy was designed in conjunction to the assimiliation strategies of the Canadian Government to get rid of First Nations people and their treaty status.