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.

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.

December 6, 2018 – Agreement-in-Principle Reached

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.