Kristy Kirkup, Huffpost, March 13, 2019
The government has reached a proposed settlement with former Indian Day Schools students that would compensate each survivor $10,000, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett announced Tuesday.
Those who experienced physical and sexual abuse at the schools are also eligible for additional compensation of between $50,000 and $200,000 based on severity.
Bennett called the proposed agreement a historic step forward, adding Canada is committed to righting historical wrongs in the spirit of reconciliation.
The proposed settlement follows discussions between the government and parties in a class action lawsuit originally filed in 2009 on behalf of Indigenous people and their families who attended Indian Day Schools.
Nearly 200,000 Indigenous children attended more than 700 federally operated Indian Day Schools beginning in the 1920s, where many endured trauma, including, in some cases, physical and sexual abuse.
Indian Day Schools operated separately from the Indian Residential Schools system and were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement approved in 2006.
Many Canadians are aware of the tragic legacy of Indian Residential Schools, Bennett said, but many still do not know the history of the Indian Day Schools.
The court will consider comments made by the members of the class action, submissions made by their legal counsel and the government to determine whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the class members, Bennett said.
“It is my sincere hope that this will be the start of a successful healing process for all of those involved,” she said.