Deadline to file could be extended for federal day school lawsuit claimants

Extension related to $1.47-billion class action suit settled with federal government

In 2008, hundreds of people gathered at Iqaluit’s cadet hall to watch then-prime minister Stephen Harper apologize for the federal government’s role in the residential school system. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The deadline to file a claim under the Federal Indian Day School Class Action lawsuit is Wednesday, but some people might be eligible to file late.

So far, approximately 150,000 people have filed claims related to their experiences at residential day schools, according to Gowling WLG, the law firm behind the class-action lawsuit.

Gowling has set up a website for claimants, which includes a list of nearly 700 schools that fall under the claim. Among them are 27 that operated in communities that are now part of Nunavut, and 11 that operated in what is formerly known as Arctic Quebec.

To be eligible for possible compensation, a person must have attended one of the federal Indian day schools or federal day schools identified in the settlement and have experienced harm.

An update from Gowling says the settlement agreement provides for a possible six-month extension, to Jan. 13, 2023.

“Although we anticipate flexibility in processing an extension request form, class members will need to identify a reason as to why they have been unable to file a claim by the deadline,” states the update.

The extension request form will be available on the website for download. It can also be sent to potential participants by email through dayschools@gowlingwig.com or mailed by phoning 1-844-539-3815.

Free legal counsel is available during the extension period, and wellness and mental health support is available 24 hours a day by phoning 1-855-242-3310 or by online chat at HopeForWellness.ca.

Federal residential day schools operated across Canada from the 1800s until about 2000. Many Indigenous children were forced to attend.

In August 2019, the federal court approved a Canada-wide class action settlement to compensate for the harm suffered by Indigenous students who were forced to attend these schools.

The total amount of the settlement, to be paid by the federal government, was $1.47 billion, including $1.27 billion to be paid to approved survivors, and $200 million to fund legacy projects.

Gowling notes on its website that use of the word “Indian” is “outdated, not inclusive, and even offensive.” However, it said, “The schools, and their name, reflect the dark reality of Canada’s history with Indigenous peoples.

“This settlement sheds important light on that history.”

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Affected on

    It’s too bad you can’t apply for a deceased person. Understandable though since the deal was made after the persons death. But still, doesn’t mean that the next generation was not affected by residential school.

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    • Posted by You can on

      You can apply for deceased people. you can call that number provided and apply for someone who attended day school and those listed in their estate would be the beneficiaries

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  2. Posted by Thomas Aggark on

    I think the government is going fast with the pace of the work force into Inuit. Health care, education, many Inuit needs to make more decisions instead of non Inuit. Not enough support for educated individuals, not enough recognition the needs of our Inuit needs, are jobs, employment. Nothing but ignorance. No jobs for educated individuals.

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  3. Posted by Real Sluffi on

    Paid out for going to ‘day school’? What next?

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    • Posted by Gorp on

      What you need to understand is that this is a form of wealth redistribution that acts as a proxy for an economy, where little real economy exists.

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    • Posted by Survivor on

      Compensation for abuse. Children suffered physical and verbal abuse from so called educators.

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    • Posted by sealmeat on

      You go to school and from the get go, your language is not allowed and everything about you, as a person, is banned. You are told, in no uncertain terms, that your family, language, culture is inferior and in short order, you mindset is turn against your parents and the only way of life you know is gone.

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  4. Posted by Thomas Aggark on

    Having parents with experience with these are a bad image to our career needs. They should wait until young people youth today gets what they want. Please recognize more educated individuals, think of their younger generation first with educated backgrounds. Please recognize Inuit younger generation who are trying and going for college, people who are single with no children that cannot have kids, please remember them too.

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  5. Posted by Janice on

    I’m wondering how they are going to include those of us who were placed in Catholic Private school at no choice to our parents? I thought I qualified for this but it says a federally funded/operated school. Weren’t the private catholic schools federally funded? I’m sure the nuns and priests didn’t fund it? I hope someone with influence sees this and looks into it….huyas!

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