by Jake Cardinal
(ANNews) – The Class Action law suit, initiated by the law firm Gowling WLG, against the Canadian Federal government for the mistreatment and abuse suffered by Indigenous peoples in Federal Day Schools has cancelled all in-person Community Assistance Sessions and are moving them to online video conferences.
The change is due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Issued in a statement on the class action website, “many claimants are elders living in remote communities, and bringing everyone together creates a possible risk of exposure.”
The video conferences provided by the law firm are held via Zoom, a video chat service, and are meant to help those who are having trouble applying for the claim.
In order to attend one of these video conferences, the claimant must register online here and must register in their proper regional areas. The dates and times of the remaining information sessions have been posted on the claim’s website and will be running from April 28 to May 27 2020.
Another statement in the update says, “We have received a high volume of session requests and are working to schedule all of them.” Keep checking back to the list to see if any more dates are added.
The Federal Indian Day School Class Action lawsuit was made in order to provide compensation to those who experienced trauma within the day school system. The lawsuit itself only applies to those who attended federally-run and operated day schools–provincial day schools for example, are not covered. To see if your day school is eligible for the claim, review the list here.
Those who are able to make a claim are eligible for compensation ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 depending on personal experiences. There is also a “$200M Legacy Fund to support commemoration projects, health and wellness programs, as well as language and culture initiatives for Indigenous communities,” as the trauma is not limited to those who attended the schools, but to entire communities. To get more information on the claim, review the FAQ.
It is estimated that close to 200,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend federally-run and operated day schools–the amount of children who experienced trauma and/or sexual abuse is unknown.
Eligible claimants have until July 13, 2022 to apply.
If you have any questions or would like to arrange video conference presentations and virtual legal support for your community, or would like one-on-one support filling out your Claim Form, call Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or by email at [email protected].