On March 12, 2019, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, announced that an out-of-court Settlement had been reached with Class Members of Federal Indian Day Schools (“Indian Day Schools”) regarding Canada’s establishing, funding, control and management of the Indian Day Schools. The schools were known as Federal Day Schools in the North. The Settlement, which must be approved by the Federal Court, provides eligible Survivor Class Members with compensation at various levels for harms suffered by them. The Settlement also provides for a Legacy Fund of $200M to support commemoration projects, health and wellness projects, and language and culture initiatives.
For more information about the Settlement, Compensation,
the Legacy Fund and next steps in the approval process, please visit the IDS website: www.indiandayschools.com
Eligible Class Members
To be an eligible Survivor Class Member, you must have attended one of the identified Indian Day Schools listed on Schedule K to the Settlement Agreement. This List is available on the Indian Day School Website provided below. There is a built-in process to update Schedule K, as needed. If you believe a specific school should be added to the list, please let us know. You will be asked to provide whatever information you can about the schools (for example, school photos or class pictures). Class Counsel will then provide this information to Canada, which has five independent research firms dedicated to investigating these schools. As soon as the proposed Indian Day School is verified, it will be added to the list on Schedule K.
Compensation and Claims Process
Under the Settlement, all individuals who attended an Indian Day School, including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, without exception, are class members in the McLean action. Canada has agreed to provide compensation to eligible Survivor Class Members. Compensation ranges from $10,000 for harms associated with attendance at an Indian Day School to $200,000 for repeated incidents of sexual abuse and/or physical assault causing long-term injury. Eligible Class Members will receive a single payment reflecting the most severe harms they suffered regardless of the number of schools attended. Given the entry level for harms suffered, it is thought that nearly everyone who attended an Indian Day School will be eligible for at least $10,000 in compensation.
The process to claim compensation will be simple, culturally sensitive, non-adversarial, and user-friendly. There will be minimal verification requirements, and the documentation people may be asked to provide (for example, photos or personal correspondence) will not require a difficult process or third-party to obtain.
The Settlement Agreement must be approved by the Federal Court before Survivor Class Members can begin making application for compensation.
The below link to the Notice (Long and Short Forms) provides information on the Settlement Agreement and next steps, including the Settlement Approval Hearing scheduled to be heard on May 13, 14 and 15, 2019 at the Federal Court, 363 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3N9.
Class Counsel is committed to providing support to you throughout this process. In person, through our call centre, our offices across Canada, and through our ongoing community presentations – we will remain accessible and available to help you in the claims process including in regard to documentation, no matter where you live. We do this at no cost at all to Class Members.
Please read the documents and the Notice carefully, as the information in them may affect your rights.
For more information about the settlement and the latest development, please visit:
Jeremy C. Bouchard