Day scholars now eligible for Gottfriedson settlement compensation

Survivors have until Oct. 4, 2023 to apply.

Day scholars like Jo-Anne Gottfriedson were left out of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Photo: APTN file

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Another group of survivors can apply for compensation under the Gottfriedson Indian Residential Schools Day Scholars settlement agreement.

Eligible survivors can apply for a lump sum of $10,000. The deadline to submit a claim is Oct. 4, 2023.

This is the second national class-action Canada has settled for damages and abused suffered by daytime students of residential schools, who were excluded from the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

The first lawsuit, approved in 2019, was the Federal Indian Day School Class Action or McLean Action. That settlement pays eligible survivors between $10,000 and $200,000 in compensation, depending on the severity of their abuse.

Those claims close July 13, 2022.

View the list of 96 recognized Day Scholar schools here.

The Gottfriedson settlement, approved on Sept. 24, 2021, applies to survivors and descendants of survivors who died on or after May 30, 2005. Claims may be made by the estate executor/administrator/trustee/liquidator, or “if none is appointed, the deceased day scholar’s highest priority heir,” according to a statement from class counsel.

Approximately 12,000 to 20,000 Day Scholars were alive as of May 30, 2005, according to the government of Canada.

Claim forms can be completed and submitted online. Paper forms must be requested by mail from the claims administrator.

“The claim forms require basic information only and does not require claimants to provide information about their experiences at Indian Residential Schools,” class counsel added in its statement.

The settlement also provides $50 million for a Day Scholars Revitalization Fund to invest in healing, language and cultural reclamation.

The Gottfriedson settlement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit filed by Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc and shíshálh Nations in B.C. in 2012. It is named for survivor Jo-Anne Gottfriedson.

The McLean Action was started by former day school survivor Garry Mclean of Manitoba. Its list of 699 recognized day schools is available here, including 54 in Quebec, 11 in Nunavik and two on PEI.

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