Individual compensation announced for Indian Day Schools survivors

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett called the proposed agreement a historic step forward

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.

“This agreement will bring us one step closer to a lasting and meaningful resolution for survivors … of this dark and tragic chapter in Canada’s history,” Bennett said.

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.

The lead plaintiff in the case, Garry McLean, died of cancer about one month ago.

“We are all so sad that he didn’t live to see this day,” Bennett said, acknowledging that his “courage” and “advocacy” paved the way for the settlement.

READ MORE: B.C. Grade 8 student pens letter to premier on residential 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.

“Although children who attended Indian Day Schools did leave school at the end of the day, many students experienced trauma and were subject to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of individuals who had been entrusted with their care,” Bennett said.

“Due to government policies, children were denied the opportunity to speak their language and were forced to abandon their culture.”

Harms continue to be passed down through generations of Indigenous families and communities, she said.

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.

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford has a COVID-19 rate 10 times higher than Chilliwack

Abbotsford has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than its neighbour to the east

Chilliwack illusionist Chris Funk brings live magic, music to Cultural Centre

‘You’ll see some creations that have made appearances on some of the largest television shows in the world’

River scavenger hunt on tap

IGotSASS hosts a hunt for the most environmentally significant spots in Agassiz-Harrison

Community Camera: September 24, 2020

Submit your photos to news@ahobserver.com.

Chilliwack’s Gary Robbins maps out epic trail across eight mountains

Robbins spent nearly 40 hours covering 110 miles and over 10,000 metres of elevation gain

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Wind warning for White Rock, South Surrey

Gusts up to 90 km/h expected from Richmond to Langley Friday (Sept. 25) morning

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Most Read