(August 19, 2019) – The Federal Court has approved a nation-wide class settlement to compensate survivors for harms suffered while attending Federal Indian Day Schools and Federal Day Schools. The settlement includes compensation for eligible Survivor Class Members ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 based on the level of harm experienced as well as the creation of a Legacy Fund of $200 million to support commemoration projects, health and wellness projects, and language and culture initiatives. To be eligible for direct compensation, a person must have attended at least one of the Federal Indian Day Schools or Federal Day Schools funded, managed and controlled by Canada, and listed on Schedule K.
Beginning August 19th, 2019, Class Members will have 90 days to opt-out of the Settlement by removing themselves from the Class. Opting out is a serious and permanent decision. Those choosing to opt-out of the Settlement will receive no compensation from this Settlement but will retain the right to bring an individual claim against Canada for harms suffered, if they wish to do so. Anyone choosing to opt out must complete and submit the Opt Out Form by November 18th, 2019.
What can I do now?
Survivors will be able to apply for compensation, however, compensation will not be issued until after the implementation date. Claims for compensation will begin to be processed for compensation 120 days from August 19th, 2019, subject to any appeals that are brought.
The Claims Form is available for review here or by contacting Gowling WLG. Right now, we encourage people to review the Claims Form and requirements. Information about how to make a claim will become available on this website in the coming weeks.
Once the claims process has started, Class Members will have two and a half years to complete the Claims Form. To be eligible for compensation, Survivor Class Members must have attended one of the identified Day Schools listed on Schedule K.
You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our FAQ section, copies of important notices, access to key forms and other documents in our Documents section, as well as most recent updates in the settlement process.
Please complete a Registration Form to receive information about the settlement as it becomes available. There is no deadline to register. Should you have any questions or require support, please contact us at 1 (844) 539-3815.
The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement:
“The mistreatment of Indigenous children is a tragic and shameful part of Canada’s history that has had devastating effects on generations of families. Canada is deeply committed to reconciliation and healing, and will continue the important work of making amends for past wrongs.
Today, the Federal Court of Canada approved the Federal Indian Day Schools (McLean) settlement agreement. This approval marks an important step forward on our journey of reconciliation and healing with Indigenous Peoples.
Under the settlement, survivors will be able to apply for individual compensation for harms, including physical and sexual abuse, associated with attending a Federal Indian Day School. The negotiated settlement also includes a forward-looking investment of $200 million in the McLean Day Schools Settlement Corporation for Legacy Projects to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture and commemoration.
Now that the settlement agreement has been approved, a 90-day opt-out period and a 60-day appeal period will commence. At this time, any class member that does not agree with the terms of the settlement can choose to remove themselves from this process. Once the appeal period and opt-out periods have concluded, class members who have not opted-out will be able to apply for compensation. Healing and commemoration activities will be available to all those affected by the legacy of Indian Day Schools.
We recognize that any process that involves revisiting past abuses can have a re-traumatizing effect on survivors. The Hope for Wellness Help Line is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer culturally competent counseling and crisis intervention. For immediate help, call the toll-free line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
Today’s Federal Court decision is a recognition of the hard work undertaken by all sides toward finding a lasting and meaningful resolution for former students of Federal Indian Day Schools and their families. The advocacy, perseverance, and commitment of survivors of Federal Indian Day Schools to right past wrongs will not be forgotten.”