CANADA – Applications are now open for members of the Federal Indian Day School Class Action to start the claim process and the applications must be sent in by July 13, 2022.
Indian Day School survivors who are eligible class members of this lawsuit can access the claim form at IndianDaySchools.com. There are online forms that can be filled out digitally and mailed, faxed or emailed to the claims administrator in Toronto, with all that contact information available both on the website and within the form itself.
There are several legal and mental health support services available for class members. Anyone who has questions about the claim form or process can call the class action’s phone line at 1-888-221-2898, where they can either speak with the claim administrator or get help from legal counsel in filling out the form.
Since this is a difficult topic for many people, class members can access mental health counselling and crisis support at any time of day through the Hope for Wellness Hotline. Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibwe and Inuktitut by request upon calling 1-855-242-3310 or visiting its website, HopeForWellness.ca.
Survivors should note that the law firms in this case (Gowling WLG and Deloitte) will never ask for banking information. The lawyers have received reports of scammers contacting survivors, pretending to be the legal team, and asking for the survivors’ financial details.
Previously, community assistance sessions were scheduled across the country to assist survivors with applying to the claims process. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all sessions are cancelled until further notice.
However, the legal team is making provisions for video conference presentations and virtual legal support, as well as one-on-one support for preparing a claim form, by contacting the legal counsel team at 1-844-539-3815 or by emailing DaySchools@GowlingWLG.com.
As has been reported on previously, settlements range from $10,000 to $200,000 based on the level of harm experienced in the schools. If an Indian Day School survivor passed to the spirit world some time between November 2007 and present, their estate is eligible to apply.
Family members of Indian Day School survivors are not eligible, though a $200 million legacy fund is being set up to support activities related to commemorating the history, strengthening Indigenous culture and offering healing and wellness services.
Indian Day Schools were institutions set up within First Nation reserves beginning in 1920. Close to 200,000 Indigenous children attended one of 699 Indian Day Schools, where many individuals experienced trauma, physical and sexual abuse from those who were supposed to be providing care for them.
This case was started by Garry McLean, who died in 2019 before the settlement was finalized. The class action was certified in June 2018.
Any Indigenous people who feel they need mental health support counselling because of this difficult subject should call Hope for Wellness at 1-855-242-3310 or visit HopeForWellness.ca.