The legal action, McLean v Canada (Court File No. T-2169-16), was brought to recover compensation for class members from Canada for harms suffered by students who attended a Federal Indian Day School or Federal Day School. Students of Federal Indian Day Schools or Federal Day Schools have reported suffering physical, sexual, and psychological abuse by teaching staff, officials, students and other third parties. In some cases, the abuse was severe. These abuses were in addition to the mocking, denigration and humiliation of students by reason of their Indigenous culture and language. Through McLean v Canada, the Plaintiffs have sought the recognition of and justice for the harms inflicted on former students of Day Schools and their family members.
The legal action was certified on consent (meaning both parties agreed) as a class proceeding by Justice Phelan of the Federal Court on June 21, 2018. The case was started by Garry McLean, who passed away before a Settlement was reached. The Court has appointed Roger Augustine and Claudette Commanda as Representative Plaintiffs for the Survivor Class and Mariette Buckshot as Representative Plaintiff for the Family Class. A Survivor Class Member means a person who attended an Indian Day School. A Family Class Member means a person who is a spouse or former spouse, child, grandchild, or sibling of a Survivor Class Member and the spouse of a child, grandchild, or sibling of a Survivor Class.
The Plaintiffs in this matter have been represented by Class Counsel Robert Winogron, Jeremy Bouchard and Mary M. Thomson of the law firm Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP. Mr. Winogron and Mr. Bouchard have over 30 years of combined legal experience in the area of Aboriginal Law and Litigation. Ms. Thomson is a class action specialist and has 35 years of litigation experience. Gowling WLG is a national law firm that is consistently recognized for its representative work on behalf of First Nations and Aboriginal organizations across Canada.
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