OTTAWA — Many First Nations and Inuit have tried pathways to reconciliation through the courts, having taken class action lawsuits against Canada, but the Métis Nation has sought a different path. Métis survivors have committed to a nation-to-nation relationship with the federal government, which includes a number of engagement sessions in the coming months, the Métis National Council stated on March 11, 2019.
“This is one of many ways that survivors will have the opportunity to share their insights into the development of a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop resolution,” Clément Chartier, who is president of the Métis National Council, said. “It is important to us that survivors are given every chance to join in and be heard to help shape how this work will be done.”
The sessions, which are going to be held across the country in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, will not only give Métis survivors an opportunity to voice concerns with the process, but will also inform the federal government on how to address and reconcile the ’60s Scoop and its ongoing, harmful effects, the council noted.
David Chartrand, vice-president of the Métis National Council and Minister of Social Development also stated: “We know our survivors have suffered and continue to struggle with the trauma experienced at the hands of Canada. The intergenerational impacts are still being felt by our families and survivors today.” Chartrand also mentioned that when a survivor heals, it means the family and community can also heal.
Chartrand previously called on Canada to outline a specific process of reconciliation, one that is guided and informed by Métis survivors.
The six sessions are hosted by the governing members of the Métis Nation for survivors who were forced into foster homes or adopted out of their community. During each session, Métis ’60s Scoop survivors will have a voice in a space that is safe, respectful and culturally-based, the council noted. It’s also an opportunity for survivors to access support and counseling.
Between 1951 and 1991, Canadian governments and churches across the country had forcibly removed Métis children from their parents, family and community. What is now known as the ’60s Scoop was part of Canada’s larger system of colonization of Indigenous peoples.