Updates

March 12, 2020 – !! ATTENTION SURVIVORS !!

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 dayschools@gowlingwlg.com.


March 10, 2020 – Your Registration Form is Not Your Claim Form

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.

Click here for the claim form.

If you have any questions or require support through the claims process, please call the Claims Administrator at 1-888-221-2898.


February 21, 2020 – SCAM ALERT: Do Not Give Out Your Banking Information

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.


January 13, 2020 – Claims Process Open for Survivors of Federal Indian Day Schools

What’s Happening

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

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.

January 11, 2020 – Claim Form to be Available January 13, Opening of Claims Process

What’s Happening

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.


January 8, 2020 – Federal Indian Day School Settlement Set to Move Ahead January 13, 2020

What’s Happening

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.


December 19, 2019 – Chief Ottawa Expresses Intent to Discontinue Appeals

What’s Happening

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.


November 6, 2019 – Class Counsel Receives Court Challenge

What’s Happening

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.


August 19, 2019 – Federal Court Approves Nation-Wide Indian Day Schools Class Settlement

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.

What’s next?

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.


April 2019 – Five Fundamental Facts about the Federal Indian Day School Settlement

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.