Deadline looms for bands to enter day scholar residential school suit
First Nations' deadline to join a class action lawsuit for members who attended residential schools during the day is coming soon.
First Nations within communities that contained a residential school, and who had members attend a school, have until the end of February to decide whether or not they want to be part of the lawsuit.
This claim is different from the Residential Schools Class Action Settlement, which only compensated students who lived at residential schools.
Yellowknives Dene First Nations Dettah chief Ed Sangris says up to 100 of his band members may benefit from the class action lawsuit.
"Some of our members that were in medical institutions like the hospitals, they were in hospitals yet they were in day school, to the school, through the day and go back to the hospital at night," Sangris said.
He said those students were denied the common experience payment because they weren't living in the school.
The CEP compensated students for the loss of language and culture if they lived in a government-run residence.
But the lawsuit covers more than just former students. It's also seeking compensation for descendants of survivors and for First Nation bands that resided close to the schools.
Sangris says he's working with the Dene Nation to ensure his band is included.
He hopes the suit will bring closure.
"I don't know about this new government but they have to take this seriously and say, 'Yes, you know, that should be part of the package,'" he said.