Ottawa – Taking care: We recognize that this announcement comes at a time that is difficult for many and that efforts to honour victims and families may act as an unwelcome reminder to those who have suffered hardships through generations of government policies that were harmful to Indigenous Peoples.
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support to former Residential School students. You can access emotional crisis referral services. You can also find information on how to obtain other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Please call the Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 if you or someone you know is triggered while reading this.
We encourage all those who need some support at this time to reach out and know that support is always there for you through the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
June 9, 2021 — Ottawa, Ontario — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that a settlement has been reached with Survivor and Descendant Class Members in the Gottfriedson Indian Residential Schools Day Scholar class action.
Although Day Scholars were able to seek compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement for physical and sexual abuse suffered while attending Indian Residential Schools, unlike residents, they were not able to seek compensation for the experience of attending Indian Residential Schools, as they returned to their homes at night.
The signing of the agreement marks an important milestone for Day Scholars. It recognizes the harm suffered as a result of their experiences while attending an Indian Residential School.
The settlement agreement combines individual compensation for harms experienced in attending an Indian Residential School as a Day Scholar with forward-looking investments to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage and commemoration for Survivors and Descendants.
Over the past several months, the Government of Canada and counsel for the plaintiffs have been engaged in negotiations to resolve this litigation in a fair, compassionate and respectful manner that promotes healing and reconciliation. To ensure that the aging survivors receive compensation in their lifetime, the parties have agreed to separate the Band Class claims in order to focus on the resolution of the Survivor and Descendant classes.
Canada is continuing the work of righting wrongs and supporting healing from the intergenerational impacts of Residential Schools that are still felt today. We are working collaboratively to renew our relationship with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation based on the affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, which is fundamental to advancing reconciliation.
“Today’s announcement takes us another step closer to bringing meaningful resolution and healing for Day Scholar survivors and their descendants. After years of advocacy, this agreement is a testament to their persistence, dedication and resilience, and their courageous efforts should be recognized. Canada is committed to reconciliation and laying the foundation for multi-generational healing—we will continue to work with survivors on righting historical wrongs.” – Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P., Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations