March 12, 2019 – Proposed Settlement Reached for Survivors of Federal Indian Day Schools

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.