Reactions to the settlement remain mixed. Among First Nations, in addition to celebration, the compensation package inspired anger and confusion.
“Government is getting off on the cheap,” said Ernie Crey, a chief of the Sto:lo Nation in British Columbia. Crey’s entire family grew up in white homes.
“It should have been in the billions. My stomach is churning and I am left feeling angry that government and the lawyers would basically conspire to sneak this deal through.”
I’ve lost younger siblings to the ‘60s Scoop. They are dead as a consequence.”
Anger is also the predominant reaction amongst non-Indigenous Canadians. Many only hear reparations, but don’t know about the court order. Nor do they understand the history.
Waste of goddamned money.
— Dickie Rondo (@hans_assmann) October 6, 2017
Most were addicts and unfit parents most likely, if today is any indication of the past. More money given away….
— Xavier Black (@Holeysheet_Won) October 5, 2017
However, that’s not a reflection of the opinion of all non-Indigenous Canadians. Those aware of the history feel the reparations justified.
“It’s important to understand that the effects of Canada’s residential schools didn’t end when they closed, and didn’t happen a long time ago.” according to journalist Kevin Ma of the Saint Albert Gazette. “[It’s] meaner, crueler sequel, the Sixties Scoop, kept going well through the 1980s, and, judging from the overrepresentation of Indigenous kids in child apprehension cases, still continues today.”
This was racism, plain and simple, and it happened with our government’s blessing. The fact that authorities thought it appropriate to rip babies from their mothers immediately after they were born would be absurd if it weren’t so horrendous. I urge all of you to read up on this chapter of Canada’s history, and encourage teachers to talk about it alongside lessons on the residential schools.”
Education is a good idea, as this is only the first step. In a statement to APTN News Saskatchewan lawyer Tony Merchant said scheduled negotiations continue into 2018.
“(We will also seek) additional compensation for loss of culture, and compensation for Metis and non-status Indians for whom Canada has no responsibility.” According to Merchant, Four law firms and Justice Michel Shore of the Federal Court negotiated the current package.