Indigenous

Residential school day scholars may be able to start claim process by December

Residential school day scholars may be able to make claims for compensation through a recent settlement by December, according to lawyers for the class action lawsuit.

Claim process cannot begin until after 60-day appeal period has passed

A student walks past a display at Ottawa's Hillcrest High School on Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Sept. 30. Residential school day scholars may be able to make claims for compensation through a recent settlement by December. (Blair Gable/Reuters)

Residential school day scholars may be able to make claims for compensation through a recent settlement by December, according to lawyers for the class action lawsuit.

"Day Scholars" are residential school survivors who attended the schools during the day, but were able to go home at night. They suffered the same loss of culture, language and experienced abuses as other residential school survivors, but were left out of the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. 

The settlement reached in the lawsuit against the federal government by day scholars was recently approved by the Federal Court.

The settlement includes individual compensation of $10,000 and a $50 million Day Scholars Revitalization Fund to support healing, and linguistic and cultural reclamation.

Selina August and Jeanette Jules, representing the shishalh and T'kemlups Nations who led the lawsuit, said in a statement that they were told by members who were day scholars that they suffered punishments for speaking their language and exercising their culture while at the schools.

"We now have ensured that all the day scholars who were alive as of May 30, 2005, will be compensated for their 'Common Experience Payment' and so nobody is left behind," they said in the statement.

The claim process cannot begin until after a 60-day appeal period has passed but day scholars should be able to start applying for compensation by early December, according to class counsel.

Claimants will need to fill out a form but will not need to provide any information about their experiences at residential schools.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Renée Lilley

Reporter, CBC Indigenous

Renée Lilley is a reporter for CBC Indigenous based in Winnipeg. She is a recipient of the CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowship for 2022 and is a recent University of Winnipeg grad with a BA in rhetoric and communications. She has reported for radio and online news in her hometown of Portage la Prairie, Man. She is also a proud Métis mama of four girls.

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