Survivors of 5 N.W.T. Indian Residential School can apply for $10K in compensation
Settlement also applies to Indian Residental School day scholars who died
- NOTE: An earlier version of this story said that descendants of Indian Residential School day scholars could apply for $10,000 in compensation. In fact, relatives and descendants can only apply in cases where the day scholar is deceased, no estate is appointed and they are the highest priority heir. Descendants will be able to apply to the $50 million revitalization fund, which has yet to be established. Find more claim information and forms at https://www.justicefordayscholars.com/.
Survivors of Indian Residential Schools who attended during the day, but did not sleep there, can apply for $10,000 in compensation as a result of a settlement following a class-action lawsuit.
In 2012, the Tk'emlúps te Secwe̓pemc and shíshálh Nation launched the class action lawsuit on behalf of people who attended Indian Residential Schools during the day, but went home at night — arguing that attending residential school destroyed their language and culture, violated their rights and caused psychological harm.
A settlement was reached and then approved by the Federal Court last September.
The settlement includes $10,000 in compensation, which survivors can apply for. For the descendant class and survivors, there is a $50-million fund for healing initiatives, education and support for language, culture, heritage and commemoration activities.
The day scholar settlement claims process opened on Jan. 4, 2022.
An estimated 12,000 to 20,000 Indian Residential School day scholars were alive in May 2005.
Who is eligible?
People who attended Indian Residential School during the day but did not sleep overnight can apply for $10,000.
If a day scholar died on or after May 30, 2005, the estate of a deceased day scholar can submit a claim, or if there is no estate appointed, the highest priority heir can submit a claim on behalf of the deceased.
Descendants are not otherwise eligible for the $10,000 Day Scholar compensation payment, though they can apply for funding from the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund once it is established.
The deadline to submit a claim is Oct. 4, 2023.
Details of experiences at the school are not required. The application form requires information such as the dates applicants attended the schools.
Applicants must also upload one piece of ID, or fill out a declaration signed by a witness.
Which schools are included in the settlement?
The settlement lists the schools known to have or which may have had students who attended Indian Residential School during the day who did not sleep there.
Within the N.W.T., there are five schools:
- Aklavik (Immaculate Conception), open from July 1, 1926 to June 30, 1959
- Aklavik (All Saints), open from Aug. 1, 1936 to Aug. 31, 1959
- Fort Providence (Sacred Heart), open from Jan. 1, 1920 to June 30, 1960
- Fort Resolution (St. Joseph's), open from Jan. 1, 1920 to Dec. 31, 1957
- Hay River (St. Peter's), open from Jan. 1, 1920 to Aug. 31, 1937
Do those who were compensated in the 2006 Indian Residential Schools settlement agreement qualify for this settlement?
Many children who suffered harms attending Indian Residential School during the day were excluded from the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and could not access the common experience payment in that settlement, which was $10,000 for one year of living at residential school and $3,000 for each following year.
For those who have already received a common experience payment under the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, or are eligible for compensation under the McLean Day School Settlement, they could still be eligible for additional compensation under the Day Scholar settlement if they haven't already been compensated for the same school years they attended as a day scholar, according to the claim website.
Who does this not include?
This settlement is separate from the Federal Day School settlement, which has a claim process ending on July 13, 2022.
The settlement also does not affect the Band Class, a claim which is to be brought to trial, the Indian Residential Schools Day Scholar website states.
The Band Class is made up of over 100 First Nations that chose to be part of the class action, including Deninu K'ue First Nation, Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation, Liidlii Kue First Nation, Deh Gah Got'ie First Nation, Smith's Landing First Nation, Nahanni Butte Dene Band, Deline First Nation and Katlodeeche First Nation.
The settlement does not include sexual or serious physical abuse against Indian Residential School survivors.
Students were eligible to apply for compensation for sexual or serious physical abuse endured at residential school through the Independent Assessment Process of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
Claimants who have questions about the claim form or how to apply can phone Deloitte LLP, the claim administrator, at 1-877-877-5786 or visit www.dayscholarsclaims.com.
For legal advice (at no cost), questions about the settlement, or help determining if you are eligible, applicants can call 1-888-222-6845, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.justicefordayscholars.com.
Claimants experiencing emotional distress can contact the Hope for Wellness Help Line for free counselling and crisis intervention services at 1-855-242-3310, or visit www.hopeforwellness.ca.