The Ontario Superior Court handed down a decision today in the Sixties Scoop class-action lawsuit in that province.

The decision today states that Canada breached its common law duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent on-reserve children in Ontario, who had been placed in the care of non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents, from losing their Indigenous identity.

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomed today’s decision.

“Children of the Sixties Scoop deserve justice, healing and reconciliation,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “The Sixties Scoop was part of an ongoing attempt by Canada to rob First Nations children of their language, their rights and their identity. Children have the right to speak their language and stay connected to their heritage. Reconciliation means justice for the Sixties Scoop survivors. It means strengthening and valuing First Nations languages and cultures. It means creating hope and opportunity for First Nations children. Today’s decision is a step towards reconciliation.”

The Superior Court decision focuses on children of the Sixties Scoop in Ontario and affects approximately 16,000 people but could have impacts on similar cases across the country.

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