William Campbell says he’s attending an information session in Thunder Bay, Ont., Tuesday to get answers. Campbell was adopted out as part of the Sixties Scoop but says he’s not eligible for compensation. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC) A survivor of the Sixties Scoop who now lives in Thunder Bay, Ont., says he’s attending an information session in the city today to get answers that he’s not been able to find, despite repeated efforts.
William Campbell was born in Kirkland Lake, Ont., and is a member of Beaverhouse First Nation. He told CBC News that, because Beaverhouse is not recognized as a First Nation by the federal government, he doesn’t have status. That excludes him from receiving compensation through the finalized $875 million settlement that ended an almost-decade-long court battle.
The settlement doesn’t include Métis and many non-status Indigenous people. Campbell is one of the more than an estimated 5,000 people in northern Ontario taken from their families by child welfare agencies during the scoop.
"I need some answers, I need some clear answers," he said. "This has been going on for way too long, for 10 years, and it just seems like I’m getting every door closed in my face and I’m sick of it."
"Nobody seems to be listening to what I have to say, nobody seems to care what I have to say."
Campbell said he will attend an information session on Tuesday in Thunder Bay, being hosted by Collectiva Class Action Services, which is the the administrative firm for the claim. The Thunder Bay stop is the second on a 21-session run across Canada to help claimants receive compensation.
Campbell’s calls to lawyers and Indigenous leaders in the region have not helped him find answers, he said.
"I need people to hear my story."
Campbell said he was adopted into three different homes in what is now Greater Sudbury, adding that he was abused in two of them — severely in his first one, including being locked in a room for long periods of time. The whole experience left traumatic scars, he said.
"I was adopted three times," he said. "So my name actually legally changed four times from my original name, so I grew up with an identity crisis, wondering who I was, where I came from."
"I’m still here today, but it’s been not without a fight."
For Campbell, he’s looking for the opportunity to "be listened to." He has previously called for all survivors of the policy of forced adoption, that ran roughly from the 1950s to the early 1990s, to be included in the settlement. He said he’s looking for someone to listen to his story and "not somebody that’s going to say ‘oh, I’ll get back to you in a few days,’ and … not ever call."
"I don’t see people helping us."
Tuesday’s open house with the claim administrators is at the Victoria Inn in Thunder Bay.
Each eligible survivor will receive an estimated $25,000 to $50,000 in compensation for the harm suffered as a result of their experiences when they were taken away from their families and adopted into non-Indigenous homes, according to a statement from the federal government.
Applicants must submit their claim by the end of August 2019.
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