Indian Day Schools settlement deadline fast approaching

The Indian Day Schools class action settlement lawsuit claims deadline is set for July 13, 2022. Those who attended Indian day school and have not submitted a claim are urged to do so as soon as possible.

The Indian Day Schools legal action was launched to recover compensation for former students from Canada for harms suffered while attending a federal Indian day school or federal day school. Indigenous children across Canada were forced to attend both federally run residential and day schools, where many suffered various forms of abuse, and, in some cases, death.

Students at federal Indian day schools or federal day schools have reported suffering physical, sexual, and psychological abuse by teaching staff, officials, students and other third parties. In some cases, the abuse was severe. These abuses were in addition to the mocking, denigration, and humiliation of students by reason of their Indigenous culture and language.

There were several Indian day schools in operation in Nuu-chah-nulth territories and adjacent areas. The Ahousaht Indian Day School ran from 1940 to 1985.

Other Nuu-chah-nulth Indian day schools included in the class action’s Schedule K are Kyuquot, which ran from 1949-1974, Nootka Day School in Yuquot, which ran from 1951-1968, Opitsaht from 1957-1971, and Ucluelet from 1948-1966.

To be eligible for compensation in this settlement, individuals must have attended one of the identified federal Indian day schools or federal day schools during specific eligible class periods on the list of Federal Day Schools (Schedule K) and experienced harm.

According to the class action’s legal counsel Gowling WLG, more than 130,000 individuals across Canada have already submitted a claim towards the settlement, but there may be more eligible people that are at risk of missing the deadline. 

In addition to personal claims, applications are also being taken by relatives of deceased former day school students. This process requires death certificates or other proof of death.

Individuals managing the claims process on behalf of a deceased loved one may access guidance and support through the Indian Day School class action website.

For individuals who attended a federal Indian day school, compensation awards range from the basic $10,000 to $200,000 for claims that include specific acts of abuse. There is a listing of physical and sexual abuse from level 2 to 5. The higher the level of abuse, the more the compensation award if approved by adjudicators.

The NTC has an Indian day school support worker who can assist people through the application process. For more information contact Veronica Morgan at 250-724-3939. 

Information about the claims process, including claim forms and support, can be found at https://indiandayschools.com/en/

If you are experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, free counselling and crisis intervention services are available from the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or online at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
The toll-free number and website are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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