Class Counsel would like to remind Claimants who have received Level Down assessments that they are able to apply for a Reconsideration through the Claims Administrator. We understand that receiving this decision might have taken a long time, but please know that timelines for Reconsideration responses are generally much shorter.
If you accept a Level Down assessment, it should take approximately 10-12 weeks to receive your cheque.
If you request a Reconsideration by the Claims Administrator, it should take approximately 12-14 weeks to receive a decision letter.
To discuss this with a representative or to receive advice in requesting a Reconsideration, please contact Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815.
Some Claimants may be receiving a letter from the Claims Administrator about their Claim Form level assessment. These level assessment letters may indicate the narrative submitted demonstrates either a higher level or lower level when assessed against the Claim Form harms grid.
For those that have been assessed at a lower level, it’s important to know that this decision is not final. Claimants have 120 days from the time they receive the Claims Administrator’s notice to request a reconsideration of the assessed level. If you would like to request a reconsideration of a lower level assessment, it is highly recommended to reach out to Class Counsel for assistance at 1 (844) 539-3815.
The Claims Administrator has informed us of the most common Claim Form submission errors. The following is a list of the top 5 deficiencies that lead to delays in the Claim Form review process:
- Copy of ID is missing or unreadable; or the name on the ID does not match the name on the Claim Form.
- Please double check the copy of your ID before submitting your Claim Form
- Address is incomplete.
- In particular, please be sure to include P.O. Box, if applicable
- School Name and/or years of attendance is not on Schedule K.
- To be eligible for compensation, the Claimant must have attended a Schedule K School during the listed dates
- Missing signatures and dates.
- Please be sure to sign and date page 5 (Claimant and Witness) and, if applicable, page 12 (Claimant and Guarantor)
- Level of harm has not been selected.
- Although the Claims Administrator can move you up, down or provide compensation based on the level selected, the Claimant must still select a level of abuse/harm before their claim can be reviewed and assessed
To avoid unnecessary administrative delay, Claimants are strongly encouraged to carefully review their Claim Form before submitting it. If you would like one-on-one support filling out your Claim Form, please call Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the Claims Administrator nor Class Counsel will ever call a Claimant asking for financial information. If the Claims Administrator does call a Claimant, it will only be regarding specific details of the Claim Form and the Claims Process. The Claims Administrator will only ask for the following personal information to identify you as the Claimant:
- Full name and date of birth as it appears on your Claim Form and/or your ID;
- The last 3 digits of your SIN, Certificate of Indian Status or other ID provided;
- Phone number, email, and mailing address.
If you are not comfortable with providing such personal information over the phone (notably in consideration of possible identify theft) hang up and call the Claims Administrator directly at 1-888-221-2898.
We understand that Claimants are being approached for paid legal support by certain third party law firms (non-Class Counsel). Please note that any requested fee for services must be pursuant to Rule 334.4 of the Federal Courts Rules, 13.04 of the Settlement Agreement, and the Federal Court Order dated June 17, 2020.
What this means: Claimants can choose to retain their own lawyers; however, they will have to pay for non-Class Counsel legal fees and disbursements. Canada does not pay for the legal fees or disbursements of non-Class Counsel lawyers. Any fees or disbursements charged by a non-Class Counsel lawyer under a retainer or payment agreement must be approved by the Federal Court before the lawyer can require payment. Court approval is not intended to limit choice of counsel but to ensure that problems that developed in other class action settlements do not occur again. This includes the charging of unnecessary or unreasonable costs.
The retainer of non-Class Counsel must outline the consequences that a retainer with them will have on the usual duties and responsibilities owed by Class Counsel to the Claimant. By signing a separate retainer agreement and/or choosing to use a lawyer other than Class Counsel, the Claimant will be deemed to have given up their access to free legal services from Class Counsel and will be deemed to have released Class Counsel from their obligations to support that particular Claimant.
An Indian Day Schools Claims Assistance Program is currently being developed to provide in-person support in communities across the country to help Claimants complete Claim Forms. This assistance program will be organized by Argyle Communications Inc. (“Argyle”). Their role will be to create and execute a plan to safely and effectively reach as many Claimants as possible.
There will be a limited number of Community Assistance Sessions delivered, so Argyle’s Indian Day Schools (“IDS”) Claims Assistance Team is currently reviewing requests and developing a plan to safely and effectively reach as many Claimants as possible.
To request an in-person claims assistance session for your community, or to be provided with an update on the Claims Assistance Program progress, please contact the Argyle IDS Claims Assistance Team at information@IDScommunitysessions.com.
Additional Live Support Still Available
One-on-one support remains available from Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 . Additional assistance and information is also available through online Community Assistance Sessions. For more information click here.
On July 7, 2020, the Federal Court appointed Argyle Communications Inc. (“Argyle”) to assist in the delivery of Notice by implementing the Claimant Assistance Program. Effectively, Argyle will be organizing community visits and assisting Claimants, in-person, with their Claim Forms. Class Counsel will continue to be available to provide legal advice during these community visits – once travel recommences. Details on this program will be posted in the coming months. Click here for the July 7, 2020 Court Order.
On July 10, 2020, the Federal Court appointed Reva E. Devins as the Independent Assessor for the Claims Process. Ms. Devins has served as an assessor in a number of class actions and has provided meditation and arbitration services since 1998. As the Independent Assessor, Ms. Devins will conduct independent reviews and assessments of claims after Reconsiderations are performed by the Claims Administrator and where elected by Claimants. The Independent Assessor may on occasion refer a claim to the Exceptions Committee. Decisions made by the Independent Assessor or the Exceptions Committee are final. Click here for the July 10, 2020 Court Order.
There is an update from the Claims Administrator with next steps for those who recently received a letter requesting additional information. If you receive such a letter:
- Review the list of information needed to complete your submission in the Missing Information Form attached to your letter.
- Contact Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 if you have questions about the documentary requirements.
- Complete the “Missing Information” Form, sign and send it to the Claims Administrator.
Please note, the Claims Administrator has posted the following update here concerning anticipated time estimates.
- Receipt of Claim: Please confirm with the Claims Administrator’s Call Centre, at 1.888.221.2898, that your Claim Form was received. The Claims Administrator is asking Claimants to wait 6 weeks from the time a Claim Form is sent to them before calling to confirm it has been received and registered into their system.
- Level 1 Claims: The Claims Administrator is reporting that it can take up to 6 months to review and approve a complete and eligible Level 1 Claim Form. Eligible Claimants will receive a payment letter to confirm a claim has been approved.
- Level 2-5 Claims: After registering a Claim Form, the Claims Administrator sends it to the Government of Canada for review of eligibility. Canada has 60 days to review Levels 2-3, and 90 days to review Levels 4-5, starting from when the claim is received from the Claims Administrator. You will be notified by the Claims Administrator, in writing, when a claim has been sent to Canada for review. Once Canada’s review is complete, the Claims Administrator begins the process of substantively reviewing the claim. There is no set time period to do so. The Claims Administrator is reporting that, since each individual experience is being considered, some Level 2-5 claims may take up to 12 months for the entire review and approval process to be completed. Please note that Class Counsel does not have direct access to the Claim Form status details.
To avoid unnecessary administrative delay, for example due to incomplete Claim Forms, Claimants are strongly encouraged to carefully complete and take time to review their Claim Form before submitting it. If you would like one-on-one support filling out your Claim Form, please call Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or email email@example.com.
Claimants are strongly encouraged to carefully complete and take time to review their Claim Form before submitting it. If you would like one-on-one support filling out your Claim Form, please call Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claimants are reminded that the deadline to submit a Claim Form is July 13, 2022.
We encourage Class Members to follow these steps before submitting a claim:
- Review the entire Claim Form, including the levels outlined in the Harms Grid, before getting started.
- Review the Frequently Asked Questions page on indiandayschools.com and on the Claims Administrator’s page.
- Watch our video that walks through the Claim Form step-by-step, and outlines what is required for each section. Gather the appropriate documents, if required.
- Attend an online Claim Form Workshop where lawyers will walk through the Claim Form and answer any questions. Sign up for a workshop at indiandayschools.com.
- Seek legal advice from Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or by email at email@example.com. We are here to review narratives, advise on level selection, and help fill out the Claim Form at no cost.
The Claims Process is designed for Claimants to submit their Claim Form and supporting information once. Class Counsel is available to help guide and advise Claimants through this process. Please call or email us if you require support.
Please note mental health counselling and crisis support is available to Class Members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the Hope for Wellness Hotline at 1-855-242-3310 or online at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
The Claims Administrator continues to accept and process all Claim Forms. Timelines for claims processing and payments are not expected to be impacted due to COVID-19. We recommend new claims be faxed or emailed at this time.
As part of Class Counsel’s ongoing response to COVID 19, Community Assistance Sessions will be delivered by video conference starting April 8, 2020. These sessions will provide Claimants with information about the Claims Process and how to complete the Claim Form.
All participants are encouraged to register for the session tailored to their region. The full Community Assistance Session schedule and registration links are available here.
In response to the pandemic outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Gowling WLG is cancelling all Community Assistance Sessions until further notice to prevent spread of the virus.
We recognize that many claimants are elders living in remote communities, and bringing everyone together creates a possible risk of exposure. Our team will continue to monitor the situation and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
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, please call Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Survivors have been asking why information provided during the registration form process must be provided again with Claim Forms.
The registration form is independent from the claims process. Registration forms were only used to include Survivors within the class action as part of the opt-in process.
All Survivors are encouraged to complete a Claim Form for compensation and provide as much information as possible, including the narrative and any supporting documentation to verify level of compensation.
If you have any questions or require support through the claims process, please call the Claims Administrator at 1-888-221-2898.
We are hearing that Survivors are being contacted by individuals posing as representatives from Gowling or Deloitte and asking for Survivors‘ banking information. This is a scam.
Gowling and Deloitte are not asking for and do not need this information from you. In respect of the Indian Day School Claims Process, do not give out your personal banking information.
If you have any questions at all about compensation, please call Deloitte, the Claims Administrator, directly: 1 (888) 221-2898.
The Indian Day School Settlement Claims Process is now open for Survivors who suffered harms while attending Federal Indian Day Schools and Federal Day Schools. Survivors can now take the next step in their journey by submitting a claim for compensation.
What Does this Mean for Class Members
To get started, Survivors can complete the Claim Form or call 1 (888) 221-2898. Class Members will have two and a half years to submit their claims for compensation. The last day to submit a claim will be July 13, 2022.
What are the Next Steps
The completed Claim Forms can be submitted to the Claims Administrator in the following ways:
To: Indian Day Schools Class Action Claims Administrator, c/o Deloitte
- By Mail: PO Box 1775, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5C 0A2, or
- By Fax: 416-366-1102, or
- By Email: email@example.com
Legal and mental health supports available for Class Members
After waiting many years for justice and recognition, the opening of the Claims Process is a major milestone in many Survivors’ lives. To assist people in the process, a number of supports are available for Class Members:
- Claims Process and legal support: For any questions about the Claim Form or Claims Process, Survivors can call 1 (888) 221-2898. They will be given the option either to seek support from the Administrator on submitting a Claim, or legal support and help filling out the Claim Form from Class Counsel.
- Mental health counselling and crisis support is available to Class Members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the Hope for Wellness Hotline at 1-855-242-3310 or online at www.hopeforwellness.ca. Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut, on request.
We have heard Survivors need to review the Claim Form to prepare their submission.
The Court-approved Claim Form will be available on January 13th through this link: https://indiandayschools.com/en/documents/. At this time, we will have the following supports available:
- Support from the Claims Administrator (1-888-221-2898 – starting Monday, January 13, 2020)
- Legal support from Gowling WLG (1-844-539-3815)
- Mental health and emotional support available 24/7 through the toll-free Hope for Wellness Help Line (1-855-242-3310 or the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca)
Survivors will have until the deadline of July 13, 2022 to complete and submit claims for compensation.
Please call or email us with any questions.
The Federal Court has confirmed that Class Members in the Federal Indian Day School Settlement will be able to submit claims for compensation beginning January 13, 2020.
Survivors will have until the deadline of July 13, 2022 to complete and submit the Claim Form once the Claims Process begins.
More information will be available by end of week on how Survivors can access and submit the Court-approved Claim Form.
If you have any questions or require support, please call or email us.
On December 18, Class Counsel received a letter on behalf of Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa from his lawyer. The letter states Chief Ottawa does not intend to challenge the Federal Court of Appeal’s dismissal of his first appeal. It also expresses his intent to discontinue his second appeal.
This is a positive step forward for Survivors in allowing the settlement to proceed. Class Counsel is now in communication with the Federal Court on next steps for opening the Claims Process.
What does this mean for submitting a claim?
Class Counsel are confident we can now begin to move on towards implementation however we don’t have the official date for when claims can be submitted.
Based on conversations with the Federal Court, Class Counsel anticipates the claims process will open very early in the new year. When the implementation date is announced, the approved Claim Form will be made available. Survivors will then have 2.5 years from the implementation date to submit a claim.
We will update you when the implementation date is confirmed and information on submitting a claim becomes available. Should you have any questions or require support, please feel free to call or email us.
On October 31st, Class Counsel received a court challenge to the Indian Day School settlement from David Schulze (Partner, Dionne Schulze, S.E.N.C.) on behalf of his client, a class member. Class Counsel is in the process of assessing the challenge.
What Does this Mean for Class Members
If not resolved in the next few weeks, this court challenge could delay the opening of the claims process for an unknown period of time. Until this matter is addressed, Class Members will not be able to apply for compensation.
What are the Next Steps
We recognize the frustration and concern that this update may cause Class Members. We want to assure you that Class Counsel is committed to pursuing all avenues to move the settlement forward as quickly as possible. We will keep you informed as matters progress. Please check this website for updates, and please feel free to call or email us if you have any questions.
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 Claim Form is available for review here by contacting Gowling WLG. Right now, we encourage people to review the Claim 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 Claim 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.
Prepared by: the Indian Day School Class Counsel, Gowling WLG
The 60 days between the public sharing of the settlement agreement and the approval hearings is a very important time for discussion about the terms of the settlement. A number of questions have been raised over the past two weeks, and that is exactly how this process is supposed to work. People have the right to look closely at the settlement and raise concerns. They also have the right to clear and factual information. To that end, here are the five fundamental facts of the settlement that people should know.
The Federal Indian Day School Settlement was designed to:
- Meet the needs of an aging population: Indian Day School survivors are getting older; we lose as many as 2,000 survivors each year. That means that with every year of delay, thousands of people lose the opportunity to have their harm acknowledged. The IDS process is specifically designed to provide expedited payment to those who are eligible.
- Be inclusive and accessible: The settlement includes ALL individuals who attended a Federal Indian Day School, including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. It’s important for people to understand that the baseline harm for claims is such that nearly everyone who is eligible for the settlement will be eligible for at least “level 1” compensation ($10,000).
- Treat Class Members with dignity and respect: The IDS process is specifically designed to avoid the lengthy and often re-traumatizing legal process of evidence collection, cross-examination and a confrontational hearing process. Instead, the IDS claims process is designed to be simple, culturally sensitive, non-adversarial, and user-friendly. There are minimal verification requirements, and the documentation people may be asked to provide (for example, photos or personal correspondence) won’t require a difficult process or third-party to obtain.
- Respond to new information: The “Schedule K” list, which currently contains over 700 federally-run Indian Day Schools is an evolving list. There is a built-in process to update it as needed. Anyone who believes there should be a school added to the list can contact Class Counsel. They will be asked to provide whatever information they can about the schools (for example, school photos or class pictures). Class Counsel will then provide this information to Canada, who has independent researchers dedicated to investigating these schools. As soon as a new federally-run school is verified, it is added to the list.
- Provide direct support to Class Members and keep them informed: Class Counsel is committed to providing as much support to Class Members as they need throughout this process. We have visited dozens of communities across the country, met with community leaders and listened carefully to the experiences of community members In person, through our call centre, our offices across Canada, and through our ongoing community presentations – we will remain accessible and available to Class Members, to help in any way they need (including in regard to documentation), no matter where they live. Individual members of our team, including our lead counsel, have mental health and wellness training and provide referrals to culturally appropriate mental health services as needed. We do this work at no cost at all to Class Members.
Honouring Garry McLean’s Legacy: The Truth about the Indian Day School Settlement
By: Roger Augustine, Claudette Commanda, Angel Sampson, Margaret Swan, Mariette Buckshot
In March, when we gathered together to announce the news of a settlement for survivors of Federal Indian Day Schools, someone very important was missing. Garry McLean. This man, who we all called “Sunny Boy” for his contagious smile and joy, spent the last decade of his life fighting for justice for IDS survivors. While we lost Garry just weeks before the announcement, there is no question that the settlement, which bears his name, is infused with his spirit.
If Garry were with us today, he could tell you what it took to achieve this milestone. He could tell you about the dark hours when it seemed like the case would never move forward, when we all felt abandoned. And yet, he would focus more on the positives such as when he finally connected with our current Class Counsel, Bob Winogron and Jeremy Bouchard – in Garry’s words “I finally felt the momentum and progress needed for this case.” We feel the very same momentum and progress.
Garry could tell you about the thousands of survivors across the country that he and the team met with and listened to – led by Garry, together as a team, they worked to build a survivor-first settlement and process.
It breaks our hearts that Garry is not here. But we are; and, we will uphold Garry’s work and success. We will not allow anyone to mischaracterize his legacy.
The settlement achieved through Garry’s determination honours the principles he and so many of us have fought for – the fundamental principles of:
Inclusivity: Anyone who attended an Indian Day School experienced harm emotionally, physically, or both. All IDS survivors will be eligible for at least the base level of compensation set at $10,000.
Dignity: Unlike the Residential School process no one will be put on a stand and cross-examined about their story. And no one is going to have to pay lawyers out of their own pockets to gather mounds of evidence. Survivors have told us that they want a simple process, one that will not cause more trauma. That is a guiding principle behind the IDS process. In fact, the settlement agreement is very clear and explicit: claimants’ stories are to be believed and trusted at face value.
Future generations: One of the most important outcomes of this settlement, and something Garry fought for, is a $200 million legacy fund that will help our communities with healing and wellness programs, and, the support our children and grandchildren need to reclaim our languages, cultures, and traditions.
Justice in our lifetime: If Garry’s passing shows us anything, it is that for survivors time is precious. We lose 2,000 IDS survivors every year. We cannot wait another five or ten years to have this resolved. This settlement will ensure that as many survivors as possible live to see justice.
This settlement is a critical milestone and people deserve to understand it and how it came to be. We encourage our fellow survivors to ask questions and learn the facts by reaching out directly to Class Counsel. Call 1-844-539-3815 or visit www.indiandayschools.com
Miigwech, kinanâskomitin, thank you.
In May, the Federal court will be asked to approve the proposed settlement for a nation-wide class action lawsuit against Canada to compensate survivors for harms they suffered while attending federally operated Indian Day Schools. If approved, survivors will be eligible to claim compensation. We urge all those potentially impacted to become informed about the proposed settlement and their rights relating to it.
About the Proposed Settlement
The proposed settlement with Canada includes everyone who attended a Federal Indian Day School. Compensation ranges from $10,000 for harms associated with attending a Federal Indian Day School to a maximum of $200,000 for repeated sexual abuse and/or physical assault leading to long-term injury. Eligible Class Members will receive a payment reflecting the most severe harms they suffered while attending an Indian Day School, irrespective of the number of schools attended.
The proposed settlement also includes a $200M Legacy Fund to support commemoration projects, health and wellness programs, as well as language and culture initiatives for communities.
Rights and Actions
Federal Indian Day School survivors who agree with the proposed settlement need not take any action at this time. Information on how to make a claim for compensation will become available if the proposed settlement is approved in May .
Survivors who wish to show their support for the proposed settlement can submit a Statement of Support.
Survivors who disagree with the proposed settlement can formally object using the Objection Form and these objections will be taken into consideration by the court.
Survivors also have the right to address the court orally during the approval hearings in May, to express both concerns as well as support.
The final decision on approval of the settlement belongs to the judge.
Key Milestones and Next Steps
- Objection and Statement of Support Deadline: Anyone wishing to object to the proposed settlement, or provide a statement of support, must submit their statements in writing to class counsel by May 3, 2019. Forms will be available on the website.
- Hearings: The settlement approval hearings will take place at the Federal Court in Winnipeg from May 13-15, 2019. Class members wishing to attend the hearing may do so, and those who wish to speak at the hearings, either in support of the proposed settlement or to share their concerns may do so .
- Approval Decision: The court will announce its decision regarding the settlement approval after the hearings conclude, sometime after May 15th.
- Opt-Out Period: If the settlement is approved, class members will have an opportunity to opt out of the settlement. Those who opt out will not receive compensation from this settlement, but they will retain the right to bring their own claim against Canada for harms suffered .
It is important to understand the difference between objecting to the settlement and opting-out. People have the right to object before the hearing, and still receive compensation if the settlement is approved in court.
For more information visit our FAQ section.
- Making a Claim: If the settlement is approved, information about how to make a claim for compensation will be posted on the Federal Indian Day School website and communicated broadly.
Garry McLean and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations (Carolyn Bennett) announced that an Agreement-in-Principle has been reached between the parties. The Agreement-in-Principle includes individual compensation for harms suffered while attending an Indian Day School including cultural harm and physical and sexual abuse. In addition to the individual compensation, the Agreement-in-Principle includes $200 million in funding available to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture and commemoration. Specific details regarding individual compensation will be made available in early 2019. The Court still has to approve any terms of settlement, which we intend to seek in spring of 2019.