Canada announces Indian Day Schools settlement

Victims and survivors of Indian day schools will receive compensation from the Canadian government for the abuses and harms perpetrated against them.

On Tuesday Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett announced Canada would settle out of court with litigants and members of a $15 billion class-action lawsuit initiated in 2009.

Former students of the day schools will be eligible to receive between $10,000 and $200,000 each in compensation, depending on the harm or abuse they endured.

According to the federal government, close to 200,000 Indigenous children attended the federally operated schools since the 1920s — many of whom endured cultural loss and physical and sexual abuse.

The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by Garry McLean, who attended the Dog Creek Indian Day School in Lake Manitoba First Nation, on behalf of Indigenous day school survivors.

In December the government announced it had reached a settlement, and that details would come early in 2019.

McLean, a driving force behind the settlement, died last month.

Canada is including in the settlement a $200 million investment in the McLean Day School Settlement Corporation for legacy projects that support healing, wellness, education, language, culture and commemoration.

The feds say the settlement represents Canada’s commitment to fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. Action 29 calls on the government to work collaboratively with plaintiffs who were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement “to have disputed legal issues determined expeditiously on an agreed set of facts.”

Contribute Button