Call to Action # 29: Actions and Commitments

Settlements for Parties Excluded from the IRSSA

March 9, 2023

Fed. Govt., Indian Day Schools

‘Historic’ $2.8B class-action Indigenous court settlement approved

Schools aimed to assimilate Indigenous children and abuse was widespread

Former Tk’emlups te Secwepemc chief Shane Gottfriedson, left, and federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller speak before a news conference in Vancouver in January. (The Canadian Press)

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

CBC News: A Federal Court judge has approved a $2.8-billion settlement agreement between the Canadian government and plaintiffs representing 325 First Nations whose members went to residential day schools.

Justice Ann Marie McDonald said in her ruling issued Thursday that the settlement is intended to help take steps to reverse the losses of language, culture and heritage through an Indigenous-led not-for-profit body. “This settlement is historic both in terms of the quantum of the settlement and its unique structure,” McDonald said.

“As Canada remarked, the $2.8-billion settlement is not intended to put a value on the losses suffered by the Band Class members, as that is an impossible task.”

She called the agreement “transformational,” adding the settlement does not release the federal government from future lawsuits related to children who died or disappeared at residential schools. “I am satisfied that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of Band Class members. The Settlement Agreement is therefore approved,” McDonald said.

The agreement was announced in January to settle the legal action for plaintiffs representing 325 nations seeking to address the harms done to their members by the residential school program.

Communities to decide use of settlement funds

As part of the agreement, the First Nations plaintiffs agreed to “fully, finally and forever” release the Crown from claims that could conceivably arise from the collective harms residential schools inflicted on First Nations, as alleged in a previous court filing. This legal release would not cover or include any claims that may arise over children who died or disappeared while being forced to attend residential school, the agreement says.

The settlement now goes into an appeal period, after which the money will be transferred to a not-for-profit fund managed by a board of Indigenous leaders.

Affected Indigenous communities will each get to decide what to do with their settlement funds, based on the “four pillars” principles outlined in the agreement: the revival and protection of Indigenous language; the revival and protection of Indigenous culture; the protection and promotion of heritage; and the wellness of Indigenous communities and their members.

McDonald’s decision also said that the funds and their proceeds cannot be used to fund individuals or commercial ventures, be used as collateral to secure loans or as a guarantee.

Agreement ‘means everything’: plaintiff

The suit was launched more than a decade ago by former Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc chief Shane Gottfriedson and former shíshálh Nation chief Garry Feschuk to seek justice and reparations for day scholars abused while attending residential schools. Like residential schools, day schools aimed to assimilate Indigenous children while eradicating Indigenous languages and cultures and often had religious affiliations. There was also widespread abuse. 

Day scholars were children who attended residential schools during the day but were able to go home at night and were left out of the 2006 residential schools settlement. The suit initially consisted of the combined band reparations claim (known as the band class) and the residential school day scholars claim.

The Trudeau government reached an out-of-court settlement with day scholars in June 2021, agreeing to pay cash compensation to survivors and their descendants, settling part of the Gottfriedson case. But Canada initially refused to negotiate with the remaining band-reparations plaintiffs. Their case was heading for trial until it was abruptly adjourned to pursue negotiations last fall, with the agreement announced in January pending court approval.

A man speaks at a microphone.
Former Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc chief Shane Gottfriedson, one of two plaintiffs in the case. (The Canadian Press)

In February, Gottfriedsson told a Federal Court judge in Vancouver that reaching the settlement with the federal government “means everything” to him. Gottfriedson said it was “about time Canada steps aside” and lets First Nations themselves decide how to mitigate the harms done by residential schools.

More details for how funds will be disbursed are expected in the months to come. Under the agreement, there will be an initial payment of $200,000 to all 325 First Nations, which will allow them all to create a 10-year plan for how they want to revitalize their language and culture.

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support for survivors and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour service at 1-866-925-4419.

Mental health counselling and crisis support is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Hope for Wellness hotline at 1-855-242-3310 or by online chat

With files from CBC News

January 19, 2023

Fed. Govt., Indian Boarding Schools

‘Major concerns’ were flagged in Indian boarding home system for years, records show

Indigenous students were sent to boarding homes while attending public schools

Lorraine Carpenter, right foreground, from Heiltsuk Nation (formerly Bella Bella Band), Campbell Island, B.C., studying secretarial work at Aldergrove high school in an undated archival photo. She was among eight First Nations students boarded in non-Indigenous homes in the school’s district. (Canada. Dept. of Manpower and Immigration/Library and Archives Canada)

CBC News: In January 1967, the minister of Indian Affairs in Ottawa got a troubling letter from the United Church’s Indian Work Sub-Committee in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

Committee members were so concerned by the department’s handling of an expanding boarding home program for Indigenous students attending public schools, they felt compelled to write. The program, then in its second decade, had “great potential,” the committee said, but it was “in serious danger of collapsing because of weaknesses in its implementation and excessive case-loads for the counsellors.”

The committee filled two single-spaced, typewritten pages with what it saw as problems with the program. First, the letter said, the department failed to properly match students to homes, which had “unfortunate results, as we all can testify.” 

An archival, typewritten letter.
A concerned letter from a United Church committee in British Columbia, bearing the minister’s office stamp, raises issues with the boarding homes program in 1967. (Federal Court)

Education counsellors were underqualified, culturally incompetent and already overworked. They proved incapable of adequately screening prospective parents and students, “one of the greatest problems” in the program. “We know of families who have been allowed to take students when there was already overcrowding and an unstable household,” the committee said.

Boarding home parents frequently lacked insight, appreciation or basic knowledge of the students’ cultures. There was an “inadequate medical and dental situation that students are exposed to.”

Earlier this month, lawyers for boarding home survivors and the federal Liberal government agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit. The announcement of an agreement-in-principle came nearly 56 years after the church committee sent its letter of concerns, which was filed in Federal Court in 2018.

The letter bears the minister’s office’s stamp — showing Indian Affairs was told early, and at the highest level, of problems with the program. Officials continued getting similar reports as the program expanded across the country, the historical record shows.

Created after changes to Indian Act

The department introduced the boarding home program along with a new educational assistance policy following 1951 amendments to the Indian Act.  The revised legislation repealed the law’s notoriously oppressive bans on things like hiring lawyers, filing land claims and conducting traditional ceremonies.

Indian Affairs was exploring alternatives to residential schools, ushering in an expansion of the on-reserve day school system and new partnerships with provincial public schools, historian Sean Carleton said.

Three children play, pushing each other and smiling in the snow.
Indian Affairs photos like this one, taken in 1961 at a public school near Kenora, Ont., promoted the successes of a new policy of “integration,” but internal reports revealed struggles. (David Portigal & Co./Library and Archives Canada/Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development fonds/e011308186)

He said the department took this action mostly out of frugality — a belief the new systems would be cheaper — and never lost sight of its long-standing aim: assimilation. “The project of genocidal schooling continues in different forms” after the Second World War, said Carleton, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. “The goal is really to get Indigenous children exposure to secondary education on the surface, and the subtext of that is that if they can get higher forms of education they will assimilate more easily into the capitalist workforce.”

Carleton cites a study Indian Affairs ordered into the boarding home program a year after receiving the church committee’s letter. A researcher named Bessie Snider completed the study in 1969.

In addition to ‘separation trauma’ the Indian boarder suffers from cultural shock — loss of identity, and loss of family, kinship and community support.- Bessie Snider, 1969

The department’s annual report for that year said “the purpose of the boarding home program is to provide a satisfactory living environment for students who must leave their homes in order to continue their education,” but Snider’s report suggested the program failed to reach that goal. “Indian boarding home students are in a less advantaged position than foster children in temporary care of child welfare agencies,” Snider wrote. 

“In addition to ‘separation trauma’ the Indian boarder suffers from cultural shock — loss of identity, and loss of family, kinship and community support. “This may result in alienation from school, deep subconscious conflicts, and the need for a substitute support.”

Carleton said many in the public believe conditions improved immediately when Indigenous students transitioned from residential to public schools, but reports like Snider’s show this wasn’t always the case. “This was a report by the Department of Indian Affairs in the ’60s that evaluated the system, pointed out its flaws, and kind of revealed a situation that would shock a lot of Canadians.”

‘I want to hear an apology’

These reports often omitted and ignored the perspectives of the Indigenous youth themselves, said Reginald Percival, lead plaintiff in the class action. He’s read some of the reports that were done. “I thought, wow, some of this stuff is unreal. Where did they get this? It’s just not real,” Percival said.

“They were talking about how great it was for us. I thought, hmm, somebody’s making up a story here.”

Even today, boarding homes survivors’ experiences remain largely undocumented — something Percival, even before he got involved in the case, spent more than a decade trying to change.

Two children pretend to be in behind bars with a sign above them that read, "Vancouver 1969 Jail."
Lead plaintiff in the class action Reginald Percival, right, with childhood friend Calvin Morven, during Percival’s first experience of the big city in 1969. (Submitted by Reginald Percival)

A 67-year-old member of the Nisga’a Nation, Percival was placed in boarding homes at age 13, where he suffered extreme racism, mistreatment and alienation, a 2018 court affidavit says. Percival started writing letters to politicians on survivors’ behalf shortly after he learned they were excluded from the 2006 residential schools class-action settlement.

Along with his, affidavits sworn by four other survivors offer stories of racism, psychological abuse, malnutrition, rape, beatings, forced labour, bullying, cruelty and inhumane treatment.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller, who manages part of the bureaucracy that was once Indian Affairs, called the affidavits horrific. “As difficult as it is to hear it, it’s even more difficult at times to share,” Miller said. “We do know that there are still lots of survivors that are suffering.”

Percival said when he heard about the draft settlement “I said, you know, I want to hear an apology from Canada.” “I want them to say we’re sorry for what happened to you guys.”

Miller said an apology is among a slate of issues to be hashed out in a final settlement.

‘Major concerns’ reported in 1970s

In 1971, Indian Affairs responded to Snider’s report with new, comprehensive program guidelines.

The document showed Ottawa expected an “increase in the number of Indian students requiring accommodation in private boarding homes.” In 1969, Snider documented 2,800 Indigenous boarders in private homes countrywide. A year later, the number nearly doubled to 5,040. 

Student boarding homes were found to be inadequate and overcrowded. Communication between parents, teachers, students and families was found to be poor.- Ontario task force, 1976

New reports revealed recurrent problems.

An internal 1971 Indian Affairs report raised “major concerns” with program procedures, selection of homes, Indigenous parent involvement, frequency of home changes, provision of medical services, and documentation. “There is frequently a lack of sufficient time for the counsellor to do adequate follow-up,” the report said. “More homes are required in many areas, and better adjustment and understanding of Indian students and boarding home parents are required.”

A 1976 Ontario provincial task force investigating the education needs of First Nations people was more blunt. “Student boarding homes were found to be inadequate and overcrowded,” it reads.  “Communication between parents, teachers, students and families was found to be poor.”

Some officials administering the program knew the problems from experience.

A 1976 Ottawa Citizen article showed the capital’s Algonquin College wrestling with problems facing First Nations and Inuit boarders. The college formed an advisory committee in 1975. The committee recommended hiring Indigenous advisers to help curb “a fairly high drop-out rate.” The newspaper quoted the director of education at Northern Affairs, Ralph Ritcey, who said there was “an urgent need” for Inuit counsellors to help young Inuit boarders.

One of three Northern Affairs counsellors tasked with overseeing Inuit youth in the boarding homes program, Dave Grundy, described the struggles. “I find the majority of Inuit don’t want to insult you; in fact they go out of their way not to insult you. That raises some problems,” Grundy told the paper. “For instance, if a kid can’t stand a boarding home or his landlady, he doesn’t come in and say he can’t stand them, he just says he wants to go home. He says his grandmother died six months ago and they need him at home.”

A news article bears the headline "Indian students seeking local homes."
An archival article from 1978 shows how the federal government and a local school in Ottawa collaborated to create an ‘Adaptation and Assimilation’ program for Indigenous student boarders. (Ottawa Citizen)

In 1978, Indian Affairs sought 60 such homes in the capital to house students between the ages 13 and 18 from northern Ontario and Quebec, the Citizen later reported. “At least 18 students will attend the ANA (Adaptation and Assimilation) program at Rideau High School, set up in the fall of 1977 by the Ottawa Board of Education and the Department of Indian Affairs to help Indian students adapt to an urban environment,” the article reports.

The continued creation of programs like this one into the late 1970s — with assimilation still the stated goal — signals a need for Canadians to reckon with public schooling’s role in the colonial project, said the historian Carleton.

“Public schooling is a crucial component of colonialism for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” he said. “That’s a part of this history that we’re only starting to grapple with.”

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support for survivors and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour service at 1-866-925-4419.

Mental health counselling and crisis support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Hope for Wellness hotline at 1-855-242-3310 or by online chat.


Brett Forester


Brett Forester is a reporter with CBC Indigenous in Ottawa. He is a member of the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation in southern Ontario who previously worked as a journalist with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

December 6, 2018

Indian Day Schools


The Agreement-in-Principle includes individual compensation for harms suffered while attending an Indian Day School including cultural harm and physical and sexual abuse. In addition to the individual compensation, the Agreement-in-Principle includes $200 million in funding available to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture and commemoration. Specific details regarding individual compensation will be made available in early 2019. The Court still has to approve any terms of settlement (Gowling WLG)

July 14, 2022

Fed. Govt.

Anishinabek Nation expresses disappointment in Indian Day School Class Action Settlement deadline

ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (July 14, 2022) – The Federal Indian Day School Class Action Settlement closed its application process on July 13, 2022. The Anishinabek Nation expresses disappointment in this decision and the lack of response regarding requests for amendments to both the settlement and claims processes.

Survivors, families, and leadership have been continuously requesting an extension of the deadline for months. In addition, there has been advocacy on many levels for improvements including necessary amendments to ease the process and implementation of procedural review.

Many applicants have had challenging experiences with the claims and application process regarding accessibility, communication and information errors at the administration level, lack of progressive disclosure, and claims being dropped to lower levels resulting in less compensation. While this is not an exhaustive list, many issues identified could have been resolved by implementing recommended amendments and addressing the concerns of Survivors and families.

“With the deadline now past, we acknowledge this as a failure of the Class Council and the Federal Government to address the concerns of the thousands of Survivors and their families during this settlement process. They not only deserved more time, but a more fair and transparent process overall, which would have alleviated some stress and trauma citizens have been experiencing,” states Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe.

Though the claims administrator has announced a six-month extension of the deadline, it was not in response to collective advocacy efforts.

“We find it unacceptable that this minimal effort puts the responsibility onto the Survivors and applicants to go through an extra layer of bureaucracy through this additional approval and waiting period that precedes the actual claims process,” states Grand Council Chief Niganobe. “Not only does this lengthen the waiting time for approval, it also creates unnecessary trauma and anxiety for Survivors and families who will now have to wait longer for their claim(s).”

The Anishinabek Nation will continue to support its member First Nations and citizens with the Reconsideration Forms, as well as its advocacy for justice for all Survivors, their families, and communities.

“This process has been an injustice to Survivors of Indian Day Schools. Many have not received the compensation that they are entitled to and were further traumatized by this poorly planned process,” states Lake Huron Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Travis Boissoneau. “Our many calls for change have gone ignored and I now hope that Canada and the Class Council will take this opportunity to engage with Survivors and communities and work to prevent future injustices.”

The Anishinabek Nation calls on all occupants of this land to commit to learning about Indian Day Schools, and come together to support Survivors, their families, and communities to help strengthen the Nation.

Relevant Links

The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 member First Nations across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 citizens. The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

–    30     –

Laura Barrios
Interim Communications Coordinator
Anishinabek Nation
Phone: 1-705-498-1957

August 19, 2019

Indian Day Schools

Approval of class-action lawsuit

The Federal Court has approved a nation-wide class action settlement to compensate survivors (approximately 200,000) for harms suffered while attending Federal Indian Day Schools and Federal Day Schools. The settlement includes compensation for eligible Survivor Class Members ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 based on the level of harm experienced as well as the creation of a Legacy Fund of $200 million to support commemoration projects, health and wellness projects, and language and culture initiatives

January 11, 2023

Fed. Govt., Indian Day Schools

As extension period for Indian Day Schools settlement comes to an end, concerns remain

Deadline to submit a claim with an extension form is Jan. 13 at 11:59 PST

Students at the grounds of the Cote Indian Day School, near Kamsack, Sask., in September 1958. (Library and Archives Canada)

CBC News: Louise Mayo anticipates busy days ahead as the end of the week approaches, closing the extension period for claims to a national class action settlement for First Nations and Inuit children who suffered harm while attending federally-run Indian day schools.

Mayo, a project co-ordinator hired to assist claimants in the Kanien’kehá:ka community of Kahnawà:ke, south of Montreal, said she is worried some people may fall through the cracks by missing the deadline. “I’m getting a lot of phone calls today,” she said, noting that she assisted a handful of community members with their claims and narratives over the weekend.

While separate from the residential school system, federal Indian day schools and federal day schools were also part of a policy aimed at assimilating Indigenous children, and often had religious affiliations.

Louise Mayo is a project coordinator hired to assist claimants in the Kanien’kehá:ka community of Kahnawà:ke, south of Montreal.
Louise Mayo is a project co-ordinator hired to assist claimants in the Kanien’kehá:ka community of Kahnawà:ke, south of Montreal. (Ka’nhehsí:io Deer/CBC)

In 2019, Canada signed a $1.47-billion settlement with thousands of former students at the 600-plus schools that operated across Canada between 1863 and 2000. Compensation is on a tiered system for harms suffered, from level one to level five, ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. 

The claims process opened in January 2020 and the deadline to submit a claim was July 13, 2022. However, claimants are able to apply for an extension until Jan. 13, 2023, at 11:59 PST.

According to Deloitte, the claims administrator, 178,161 claims have been filed as of Jan. 3, including 1,076 received during the extension period. Approximately 70 per cent of the claims have been paid, while 26,044 are currently being processed and 25,374 claims are missing information. A total of 2,700 were deemed ineligible for the settlement.

Class counsel said they’ve been busy assisting claimants as the deadline approaches and were unavailable to speak with CBC News. However, lead counsel Cam Cameron said in an emailed statement that survivors or estates who are waiting to receive supporting documents should not delay in submitting an extension request form and claim form.

Deloitte will treat missing supporting documents, such as estate documents, ID, or school records, as missing information and will follow up with claimants after the deadline, provided the extension request form and claim form were received by Jan. 13.

Calls for extended deadline

Last month, Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario filed a motion to the courts, asking to extend the deadline to 2025.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, is calling for the removal of the deadline. In a statement issued Wednesday, FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said the organization opposes the deadline and wants compensation to remain open for years to come.

Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, opposes the deadline. (Rob Kruk/CBC )

“There are thousands of survivors who are still coming to terms with their past schooling experience and will miss out, for reasons that are not their fault,” said Cameron. “Physical, sexual and emotional abuse is something people may oppress and need time to process when making their application.”

The deadline also troubles Veronica Haddon, manager of the Indian Day School co-ordinators at the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) in B.C. “When we’re sitting with people who are sharing their narrative and we’re having to ask probing questions. it’s so sensitive,” she said.

To rush a process that is so sensitive I think is unjust and emotional for survivors.”

Ongoing support

Staff at the IRSSS have also been busy fielding calls from survivors to meet Friday’s deadline. Day school co-ordinators and cultural support workers will be available virtually by Zoom on Friday until 8 p.m. PST.

Veronica Haddon is the manager of the Indian Day School coordinators at the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) in B.C.
Veronica Haddon is the manager of the Indian Day School co-ordinators at the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) in B.C. (Submitted by Veronica Haddon)

“There’s a lot of big feelings with the pressure of finishing,” said Haddon. “There’s just so many different layers of hurt and disappointment and having to relive their trauma every time they’re looking for support or being told they’re not eligible for something.”

Haddon said staff receive calls daily from claimants wanting to appeal the decision made by the claims administrator regarding the level of harm suffered.

That’s something that concerns Mayo, too. Ten schools operated in Kahnawà:ke between 1920 and 1988, with an estimated roughly 5,000 eligible claimants. According to Mayo, a total of 4,552 survivors submitted claims, however, she has concerns that many who filed on their own didn’t receive the compensation they deserved.

“In Kahnawà:ke alone, there’s at least a thousand people that should have never signed a level one. They should have waited and then met with somebody and had somebody help them write their narrative,” she said.

“I knew that was happening around town with larger family members saying ‘Just sign it. You’ll get $10,000 quicker than if you wait a year.'”

Mayo said her mandate is to take time with communities to create a safe environment in order to provide a complete narrative.

“Sometimes it takes two or three or four visits before I can get all the information out of them in a very safe way,” she said.

“It’s so critical to support the client to make sure they feel safe to share their story …. In many cases, a lot of these individuals who come to see me have never told their parents, their siblings, their wife, boyfriend, husband that they’ve been sexually abused.”

Support is available for anyone affected by their experience at federal Indian day schools or federal day schools, and those who are triggered by these reports. Individuals can access immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention services at the Hope for Wellness helpline by calling 1-855-242-3310 or online at


Ka’nhehsí:io Deer


Ka’nhehsí:io Deer is a Kanien’kehá:ka journalist from Kahnawà:ke, Que. She is currently a reporter with CBC Indigenous covering communities across Quebec.

June 30, 2021

Metis Nation

Call for a distinctions-based process Métis Residential School survivors

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation (LFMO)– the National Indigenous Women’s Organization representing Métis women across the Métis Nation Motherland, is calling on the Federal Government to commit to a distinctions-based process and supports for Métis Residential School survivors and their families to heal in this unprecedented time of grief and loss for Métis, Inuit, and First Nations people.(After the discovery of about 1,250 unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools). LFMO also sees Canada Day as an opportunity for a call to action from the Government of Canada to address its historic wrongs, including the continued exclusion of Métis survivors.

August 2, 2021

Sixties Scoop

Call for federal inquiry into actions and policies of governments

CBC – Former Canadian senator Murray Sinclair and a group representing survivors of the Sixties Scoop are calling for a federal inquiry into the actions and policies of governments that led to thousands of Indigenous children being taken from their homes over four decades and placed with non-Indigenous families. The group wants a meeting with federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett to discuss an inquiry, as well as a national apology and a settlement for Métis and non-status survivors who were excluded from a 2017 class-action settlement. Canada’s settlement agreement set aside $750 million to compensate First Nations and Inuit children who were removed from their homes and placed with non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents between 1951 and 1991, and ended up losing their cultural identities.

December 8, 2020

Sixties Scoop

Call to reinstate the deadlines for the First Nations/Inuit Sixties Scoop settlement agreement

CTV News – A group dedicated to Sixties Scoop survivors is urging the government and representative law firms to reinstate the deadlines for the First Nations/Inuit Sixties Scoop settlement agreement. Katherine Legrange, director of the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada, wrote a letter to the class counsel on behalf of the group’s board, saying that many survivors have been left frustrated and disappointed with the claims process. Representatives from the Government of Canada were also included as recipients of the letter.

Last December, Collectiva, the claims administrator, was granted a deadline extension to report the final number of eligible claims, but it was not given the new deadline. Then in April, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline was suspended.  Now, the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada wants the deadline reinstated. many claimants have expressed the need to lift the hold and reinstate deadlines for those needing to submit additional information.”

June 2, 2020

Sixties Scoop

Court order approval for interim payments

The Federal Court of Canada approved an order allowing the Administrator of the Sixties Scoop Class Action (Collectiva) to issue interim payments of $21,000 to all Eligible Class Members. To date, over 12,500 individuals have been deemed eligible for individual payment as part of a national settlement between the Government of Canada and plaintiffs representing Sixties Scoop Survivors. A similar order to issue interim payments is being placed in front of the Ontario Superior Court, which also presides over the Settlement.

This announcement comes in the wake of delays to the claims process resulting from COVID-19. To protect public health, a number of provincial archives have closed.  These archives contain important information that the Administrator needs to verify some people’s claims.  Further, social distancing has created barriers for Applicants seeking information and support to back up claims that have been flagged by the Administrator as incomplete.

January 4, 2018

St. Anne's Residential School

Court rules government can reject use of police and court transcripts as evidence

Ontario Superior court ruled that the federal government could continue to reject the use of police and court transcripts as evidence in student-on-student compensation claims from survivors who attended St. Anne’s Indian Residential School.

November 5, 2020

St. Anne's Residential School

Court rules that fight over documents must be heard in Ontario and not in BC

APTN – Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that the residential school fight over documents cannot be transferred to BC but must be heard by an Ontario Superior Court judge citing “access to justice considerations”. The Ontario government, siding with the survivors, argued Perell had overstepped his authority by ordering the B.C. move. The federal government argued the justice was entitled to make the ruling.

June 17, 2021

St. Anne's Residential School

Detailed timeline of St. Anne’s fight for justice

TVO – The survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School – operated by the Catholic Oblates of Mary Immaculate (who were also responsible for running the Kamloops school) and the Grey Sisters of the Cross – continue their fight with the federal government. On June 3, 2021 NDP leader Jagmeet Singh orders a motion calling for the government to end its litigation with survivors, including those of St. Anne’s. The vote on Singh’s motion is carried unanimously, 271 to zero. Liberal cabinet ministers — including Justice Minister David Lametti, Indigenous Services Canada Minister Marc Miller, and Bennett — and Trudeau abstain. The legally non-binding vote asks the government to create a progress report in 10 days and to sit down with the PKKA to find a resolution for the litigation. 

As of publication time, 5:40 p.m., on June 17, 2021 the federal government has not produced the progress report requested in the NDP motion.

For a detailed timeline of the St. Anne’s fight see the attached:

January 14, 2014

St. Anne's Residential School

Federal government deliberately withheld records from Independent Assessment process

St. Anne’s survivors (about 1,000) have proved that the government filed false reports about child abuse at St. Anne’s. More than 12,000 documents had been in possession of the federal Department of Justice from St. Anne’s survivors about their sexual and severe abuse, but this information was surpressed by the federal government for the Independent Assessment (IAP) process

February 27, 2023

Fed. Govt., Indian Day Schools

First Nations leaders voice support for $2.8B federal agreement to settle lawsuit on residential schools

Indigenous chiefs and Ottawa announced the agreement in January

Former Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc chief Shane Gottfriedson told the Federal Court judge in Vancouver on Monday that reaching a settlement ‘means everything’ to him. (The Canadian Press)

CBC News: Canadian Press – First Nations leaders are voicing their formal support in Federal Court for a $2.8-billion settlement agreement to a class-action residential schools lawsuit.

Former Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc chief Shane Gottfriedson told the Federal Court judge in Vancouver that reaching the settlement with the federal government “means everything” to him. Gottfriedson said it was “about time Canada steps aside” and lets First Nations themselves decide how to mitigate the harms done by residential schools.

He and former shíshálh Nation chief Garry Feschuk launched the lawsuit more than a decade ago to seek justice and reparations for day scholars abused while attending residential schools. Day scholars are survivors who were forced to attend the institutions during the day but went home at night and were left out of the 2006 residential schools settlement.

$2.8B federal agreement reached January

First Nations leaders and the federal government announced the $2.8-billion agreement in January to settle the legal action for plaintiffs representing 325 nations seeking to address the harms done to their members by the residential school program. As part of the agreement, the First Nations plaintiffs agreed to “fully, finally and forever” release the Crown from claims that could conceivably arise from the collective harms residential schools inflicted on First Nations, as alleged in a previous court filing.

Two men sit together with a Canadian flag standing behind.
Gottfriedson, left, and federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller talk before a news conference in Vancouver in January. The $2.8-billion federal agreement settles the legal action for plaintiffs representing 325 nations seeking to address the harms done to their members by the residential school program. (The Canadian Press)

This legal release would not cover or include any claims that may arise over children who died or disappeared while being forced to attend residential school, the agreement says.

The settlement is expected to be approved after the hearing’s conclusion this week, followed by an appeal period before the money is transferred to a not-for-profit trust managed by Indigenous leaders.

More details of how funds will be disbursed are expected in the months to come. Under the agreement, there will be an initial payment of $200,000 to all 325 First Nations, which will allow them all to create a 10-year plan for how they want to revitalize their language and culture.

With files from CBC News

January 23, 2017

Metis Nation

Forgotten: The Métis Residential School Experience

Forgotten: The Métis Residential School Experience” is a new exhibit mounted at the United Way of Winnipeg putting a spotlight on the Métis experience of residential schools in Canada. The exhibit is a series of photographs documenting residential schools in Manitoba and historical markers throughout Métis history.

March 24, 2023

Metis Nation

From Île-à-la-Crosse to Brighton, England: ’60s Scoop survivors map journey of reconnection

Interactive project continues work to raise awareness, create connections and reunite long-lost relatives

Daniel Frost seated in a hotel boardroom.
Daniel Frost is Métis and Cree from Onion Lake, Sask. He was adopted by British parents in 1968 at the age of two. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

CBC News: Thinking about meeting his sister Patsy for the first time seven years ago is still tough for Sixties Scoop survivor Daniel Frost. “All I could do was look at her hands,” he recalled, still overwhelmed with emotion as he remembered how much those hands looked like his. “I couldn’t look at her eyes.”

Frost is Métis and Cree, one of about 22,000 Indigenous kids who were torn from their homes and placed in foster care or adopted into non-Indigenous families between 1951 and 1991, a system known today as the Sixties Scoop.

He came to Ottawa this week to share his story with the interactive mapping project, In Our Own Words.

Coloured arrows dart all over a map of Canada shown on a projector screen.
The In Our Own Words map tracks where Indigenous kids were taken after being torn from their families.(Francis Ferland/CBC)

Born in Île-à-la-Crosse in northern Saskatchewan, two-year-old Frost was adopted by British parents in 1968, taken to White Rock, B.C., and then finally to Brighton, England. He now lives in Spain. He spoke with CBC News at downtown Ottawa’s Novotel Hotel, where Sixties Scoop survivors gathered this week from far-flung places all over the world to share stories and connect.

Frost explained how a federally funded Saskatchewan-based organization, Adopt Indian Métis (AIM) scooped seven youngsters from his 13-sibling family. The organization is known for placing ads in newspapers and aggressive public relations campaigns.

A Saskatchewan group called AIM (Adopt Indian and Métis) describes its success at placing children in new homes.
Adoption agency seeks homes for Indigenous and Métis children in 1968

Frost began learning his history by reading legal documents, including the court files that tell how his mother ran out of the courtroom when she learned her children were being taken. “What they were saying in the 1960s and ’70s was, ‘We’re not going to help you. We’re just going to take your children,'” Frost said. “I don’t know if I’ll heal from it, but I think being able to work my way through it is something which is necessary.”

He visited Île-à-la-Crosse in 2016 and met his family, which he said changed him from a scared outsider to a man deeply proud of his Indigenous identity, and this trip to Ottawa includes a hop across the river to Gatineau, Que., to pick up a copy of his first Indian status card.

‘It’s very impactful to see’

Colleen Hele-Cardinal is the driving force behind the map, a voluntary project to which 112 survivors have now contributed. A survivor herself, Hele-Cardinal and her two older sisters were taken from Saddle Lake in Alberta to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., raised in a non-Indigenous family and essentially grew up not knowing they were First Nations.

Colleen Hele-Cardinal poses beside the map showing how far Sixties Scoop survivors were taken.
Colleen Hele-Cardinal is behind the interactive survivor story mapping project. ‘This work drives me, every day,’ she says. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

“It’s very impactful to see how far we’ve been taken,” she said, explaining she created the map to show the vast geographical dislocation, raise awareness, foster connections and help reunite long-lost relatives. “We’re still looking for our family members. We’re still trying to heal, and we’ve kind of been forgotten about,” she said.

For Lew Jobs, who is Inuvialuit, the experience began in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., one of the northernmost points on any map, and ended up in southern Alberta.

Like Frost, he reconnected with his family when he was in his 20s — before he even learned what the Sixties Scoop was, which wasn’t until 2017.  “It’s been awkward, at times,” he said of the reconnecting process. “It really is a different culture when you go home. They grew up on the land. I didn’t. They speak the language. I don’t. They were very cautious with me at first.”

A man in a "University of Tuktoyaktuk" sweater.
Lew Jobs was born in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., but ended up in southern Alberta. He reconnected with his family later in life when he was in his 20s — before he even learned what the Sixties Scoop was. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

But the caution subsided and he’s since spent time on the land, tried traditional country food and, just last year, took up soapstone carving as a hobby. “I got to experience some of the things that I lost, but it was never home,” he said. “You just feel like an outsider sometimes, even though you’re family.”

The Canadian government agreed to compensate First Nations and Inuit survivors in 2017 through an out-of-court legal settlement, but the question of whether the federal government has done enough to make amends garners a head shake from the dozen or so survivors who met with CBC News.

“Absolutely not,” said Audra Foggin, who is from Frog Lake FIrst Nation in Alberta and was adopted by a non-Indigenous family who lived nearby. Like the others, she reconnected in her late 20s and has been building relationships ever since.  “There is much more room for engagement, support and recognition,” she said. “The inquiry with residential school folks has occurred, but I think with the Sixties Scoop, we’re just scratching the surface.”


Brett Forester, Reporter

Brett Forester is a reporter with CBC Indigenous in Ottawa. He is a member of the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation in southern Ontario who previously worked as a journalist with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

May 2, 2018

St. Anne's Residential School

Government of Canada agrees to negotiate a settlement

Carolyn Bennett on behalf of the Government of Canada, has agreed to enter into negotiations towards a meaningful resolution to the ongoing legal battle between survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School and the federal government.

December 1, 2016

St. Anne's Residential School

Government only disclosed records of abuse allegations under a court order

Federal Govt. is challenging. Records of a criminal investigation and prosecutions that took place as a result of abuse allegations were only disclosed under court orders in 2014. This secrecy and delay meant other survivors missed out on compensation granted under settlement of a class action related to the residential school system. More than 700 other former students, told the Ontario Provincial Police what been included in the Truth and Reconciliation happened to them but their testimony has not been included in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission archives held at the University of Manitoba.

December 14, 2017

St. Anne's Residential School

Government refuses to release former testimony

The government will not release the former testimony collected in the 1990s and has taken the position that all witnesses, must re-testify.

March 18, 2021

St. Anne's Residential School

Independent review of thousands of records

Toronto Star – The federal government has asked for an Independent Review of thousands of documents for St. Anne’s survivors claims

July 12, 2022

Fed. Govt., Indian Day Schools

Indian Day School deadline to file could be extended for federal lawsuit claimants

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 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

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.”

October 25, 2021

Indian Day Schools

Indian Day Schools

Federal Indian Day Schools Community Support Program re-instituting community visits to facilitate claims submission process. 92,000 survivors, or 72 per cent of claimants, have received their settlements, including nearly 79,000 who were awarded $10,000 each, and more than 13,000 who received higher amounts

January 4, 2021

Indian Day Schools

Indian Day Schools

The individual claims process in the Gottfriedson Indian Residential Schools Day Scholars Class Action settlement is now open. The deadline to submit a claim is October 4, 2023.

Each Day Scholar who attended an Indian Residential School during the day only (but did not sleep there overnight) is eligible to apply for a $10,000 Day Scholar Compensation Payment. For a full list of Indian Residential Schools that had or might have had Day Scholars and are included in the settlement see:

January 4, 2022

Fed. Govt.

Individual Claims Process for Gottfriedson IRS Class Action now open

The individual claims process in the Gottfriedson Indian Residential Schools Day Scholars Class Action settlement is now open. The deadline to submit a claim is October 4, 2023.

Each Day Scholar who attended an Indian Residential School during the day only (but did not sleep there overnight) is eligible to apply for a $10,000 Day Scholar Compensation Payment. For a full list of Indian Residential Schools that had or might have had Day Scholars and are included in the settlement see:

October 5, 2022

Fed. Govt.

Individuals who attended Federal Indian Residential Schools as Day Scholars can apply for a $10,000 compensation payment

… Claimants are encouraged to check the Schedule E Indian Residential Schools List to see if they are eligible before submitting a claim.

by Waddell Phillips, Class Counsel in the Indian Residential Schools Day Scholars class action

Vancouver– Individuals who attended a Federal Indian Residential School during the day but did not sleep there overnight (“Day Scholars”), are encouraged to submit a claim for $10,000 in compensation by the October 4, 2023 deadline under a Court approved Settlement Agreement in the Gottfriedson v. Canada class action.

It’s important to understand the eligibility criteria before submitting a claim. To be eligible, the Day Scholar must have attended one of the schools listed on Schedule E Indian Residential Schools List, during the dates provided. Providing years of attendance outside of Schedule E eligibility dates automatically makes the applications ineligible. Before submitting a form, claimants must check the list at and answer a few questions:

  • First, did you attend one of the schools on the Schedule E list? 
  • Second, if your school is on the list, did you attend during the dates provided on the list?
  • Third, if you are filing for a loved one who passed away, did they die on or after May 30, 2005, and are you a representative of the estate (Executor/Administrator/Trustee/Liquidator) or if none is appointed, the deceased Day Scholar’s highest priority heir?

If the answers to these questions are “YES” then the Day Scholar may be eligible for compensation and should complete a claim form.

The quickest and most efficient way to submit a claim is online – it’s automatically submitted and reduces the chances of leaving out vital information, which could delay processing. Claim forms can be completed and submitted online at

Paper versions of the claim forms can be requested from the Claims Administrator at 1-877-877-5786 or For assistance with filling out a Claim Form, contact the Claims Administrator at 1-877-877-5786.

If the answer to the first two questions is “NO”, then the student is not eligible for this class action.  However, the student may be eligible for the Federal Indian Day Schools Class Action. This is a separate settlement. Information, including the list of schools and eligible dates for this settlement, can be found at Individuals eligible for this settlement should apply for an extension before the deadline on January 13, 2023.

Estate claims can be filed on behalf of Day Scholars who passed away on or after May 30, 2005. Estate claims must be filed by the Executor/Administrator/Trustee/Liquidator or if none is appointed the deceased Day Scholar’s highest priority heir.

The settlement also provides $50 million for a Day Scholars Revitalization Fund established to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, and commemoration for the benefit of Day Scholar Survivors and their Descendants. The Fund will be administered by an independent Day Scholars Revitalization Society, which is currently being established. The process for applying for funding from the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund has not yet been set and will be available from the Day Scholars Revitalization Society once established.

Resources available to Class Members

Video information on how to fill your claim form online :

All questions regarding the claims process, including updates on previously submitted claims, can be answered by the Claims Administrator Deloitte: 1-887-877-5786 or

Class Counsel is available to answer questions about the class action and settlement at 1-888-222-6845 or

Mental health counselling and crisis support is available to Class Members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the Hope for Wellness Help Line. Contact Hope for Wellness at 1-855-242-3310 or through their online chat at Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut, on request.

Media Contact:
Titilayo Ajibose

November 24, 2017

Nfld and Labrador

Innu Nation refuses Prime Minister apology

The Innu Nation will not accept Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology to the province’s residential school survivors. Innu Nation wrote it feels the apology will be too narrow, covering just residential schools. They argue Innu people have also suffered under other institutions, like Mount Cashel Orphanage, and the provincial child protection system which exists today.

March 11, 2019

Sixties Scoop

Launch of engagement sessions for Métis survivors

 Engagement sessions across the Métis Homeland hosted by Métis Nation Governing Members will be held over the next two months for Métis survivors of the ‘Sixties Scoop’. These engagement sessions will help inform the federal government and the Métis Nation in addressing the legacy of the 60s Scoop on the Métis and to reconcile its harmful effects. While the First Nations and Inuit have achieved reconciliation through civil action lawsuits against Canada, the Métis Nation is taking an unprecedented approach to reconciliation based on its nation-to-nation relationship with Canada. 

January 24, 2023

Fed. Govt., Metis Nation, SK

Métis survivors sue Saskatchewan, Canada over residential school

Class-action suit launched over the Île-à-la-Crosse school in northern Saskatchewan after Métis were left out of previous settlements.

Toronto Star: For survivors of one of the oldest residential schools in Canada, it’s been a long time coming.

Métis survivors who attended the Île-à-la-Crosse residential school in northern Saskatchewan have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Saskatchewan and Canadian governments, after having been left out of separate settlements for First Nations and Inuit peoples. 

The lawsuit is on behalf of survivors of the Île-à-la-Crosse residential school and includes students who lived at the school and those who attended the day school. It also includes claims on behalf of family members and surviving spouses. 

For survivors like Louis Gardiner, whom the lawsuit is named after, a settlement would be a long-needed recognition that Métis people suffered the same abuses as others who attended the schools but have not received the same compensation or acknowledgment.

“The survivors who are not with us today, they never had a chance to tell their story. We suffered the same trauma as all residential schools … we couldn’t speak our language. They separated the survivors (by gender) … we couldn’t even go see our sisters,” he said.

According to Michelle LeClair, vice-president of Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Île-à-la-Crosse is the second oldest community in Western Canada and will turn 250 years old in 2026. The school itself opened in the 1820s and operated for more than 100 years. It’s believed that about 1,500 children attended.

“We see the fact that people have not been acknowledged, but nor has the harm, the generations of harm,” LeClair said.  “Multiple governments, both at the federal and provincial level have been pressed on this issue. And we hear a lot of ‘Ýes, we need to deal with this. They need to be acknowledged.’ But nothing ever seems to happen until we take it to the courts,” she added.

The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan is assisting with the class-action lawsuit financially and also morally, ethically and emotionally, LeClair said. 

Gardiner, who first attended the school at age five, spoke of how he would be punished with “the strap” if he was caught speaking Michif, his first language, and how he was not referred to by his name, but by a number. He also told of how he ran away from the school as a child and was eventually discovered by a search team.  “We lost everything, we lost our language, our culture, our identity,” he said. “And all we ask for is to be treated fairly as survivors.”

Four of the plaintiffs are survivors and two are family members of survivors. The statement of claim was filed on Dec. 27 against both the Saskatchewan and Canadian governments.  So far, no statements of defence have been filed. In November, the Saskatchewan government declined to meet with Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, citing ongoing litigation in relation to the school.

A previous lawsuit on behalf of Île-à-la-Crosse School survivors was filed in 2005 but has not moved forward over the last 17 years, a spokesperson said at a media availability on Tuesday. As part of the new lawsuit, one of the first actions will be to request for the previous lawsuit to be stayed.

Nearly all of the surviving plaintiffs have fired legal representation for the previous lawsuit and are on board with the new one, according to a website set up for the class action. 

The website notes that when the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was signed in 2006, people could request to add schools to the list of those to receive compensation. But the request to add the Île-à-la-Crosse school was denied because the government said the school was run by the Catholic mission, not the government. 

One of the reasons a new class-action lawsuit is moving forward is because the survivors are getting old, stakeholders said. The youngest surviving students are now in their 50s, said Duane Favel, mayor of Île-à-la-Crosse. And it’s believed about 20 survivors died in the last year alone, LeClair said. 

“Time is of the essence,” Favel said.

Favel, who attended the day school, said it seems Métis people are often included in those affected by the legacy of the residential school system, but not in a meaningful way. “We seem to be invited to participate in all the ceremonies in Canada that recognize survivors … My late uncle, Don Favel, was invited to the Harper apology with several other Métis survivors. They still don’t have closure,” Favel said.

Gardiner said he hopes this class-action suit will be more fruitful than the last and that it will succeed in time for survivors to see justice. “I think it’s very important that we need to tackle this together, as one Métis family,” he said.  “We hope that the file can move forward aggressively because a lot of our survivors are getting up there in age and there’s not many of us left. And we need to tell our story.”

Omar Mosleh is an Edmonton-based reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @OmarMosleh

May 8, 2019

Metis Nation

MOU between Canada and Île-à-la-Crosse Boarding School survivors.

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) – welcomes the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Canada and a steering committee representing Île-à-la-Crosse Boarding School survivors. Survivors and their families were left out of the compensation agreement negotiated in the 1990s and were never compensated for the loss of their culture, language and traditions, nor for the abuses endured while in school. The school operated from the 1880s to the mid-1970s before it was closed and became a treatment centre.

May 10, 2018

St. Anne's Residential School

Ontario court rules survivors have no rights to documents

Survivors have no right to documents they argued were crucial to compensating them for the horrific abuses they suffered, Ontario’s top court has ruled. However, in its decision this week, the Appeal Court agreed the claimant had no direct tie to the civil litigation materials and the government, therefore, was not obliged to turn them over.

January 21, 2023

Fed. Govt., Indian Day Schools

Ottawa announces $2.8 billion to settle remaining part of B.C. day scholar lawsuit

The federal government says it’s come to a $2.8-billion agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by members of a British Columbia Indigenous band who attended residential schools as day scholars.

Toronto Star: VANCOUVER – The federal government has come to a $2.8-billion agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by two British Columbia first nations related to the collective harms caused by residential schools.

At a Saturday morning news conference in Vancouver, Crown-Indigenous Affairs Minister Marc Miller said the government signed the deal with plaintiffs representing 325 nations that opted into the Gottfriedson Band suit. “While settlements that are being announced like these today do not erase or make up for the past … what it can do is help address the collective harm caused by Canada’s past — a deeply colonial one — in the loss of language, the loss of culture and the loss of heritage,” said Miller.

The lawsuit originally involved three classes of complainants, but in 2021 all parties agreed to concentrate initial settlement efforts on survivors and their descendants to ensure they’d receive compensation during their lifetimes. Saturday’s announcement marked the settlement for the band class of plaintiffs, which Miller called “unfinished business” from the 2021 settlement.

Miller said the settlement will be guided by four pillars:

  • the revival and protection of Indigenous language;
  • the revival and protection of Indigenous culture;
  • the protection and promotion of heritage and
  • the wellness of Indigenous communities and their members.

It marks the first time Canada is compensating bands and communities as a collective for harms related to residential schools, he said. “Reconciliation isn’t free. This is a lot of money,” Miller said. “Is it enough? I think only time will tell, but we know there’s a heck of a lot more to do.”

Miller said the $2.8 billion for members of the band class will be put in an independent, not-for-profit trust, adding more terms of the settlement will be released in the next month. 

Former shíshálh chief Garry Feschuk and former Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc chief Shane Gottfriedson launched the suit more than a decade ago seeking justice for day scholars who were abused while attending the schools but who were ineligible for the 2006 settlement for full-time students. 

“Today we are representing 325 Indigenous nations across Canada and have developed a settlement plan to allow for the nations to work towards the four pillars,” said Gottfriedson. “This settlement allows our Indigenous nations to control this process … we will manage and distribute the funds, we will provide it to all 325 nations in a fair and objective manner.”

Individual nations will decide which of the four pillars to focus on and will develop ten-year implementation plans.

“This has never been done,” Peter Grant, class council for the nations, said at the news conference. “This is where the government is saying, ‘you take care and you’re in charge of how you wish to start to repair the damage.’”

Grant explained that, after the first decade, another ten-year plan will be developed with the intention of ensuring all funds are dispersed after 20 years. 

A settlement approval will take place between Feb. 27 and March 1 before a federal court, followed by an appeal period before the funds are transferred to the trust.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2023.

— With files from Tyler Griffin in Toronto

January 3, 2023

Fed. Govt., Indian Boarding Schools

Ottawa, plaintiffs agree to settle ‘Indian boarding homes’ class action

Lawyer estimates deal could be worth $2.2 billion

Reginal Percival, a 67-year-old Nisga’a man, was forcibly removed from his home and community in British Columbia and placed in the boarding homes program when he was 13 years old. (Submitted by Reginald Percival)

CBC News: The Canadian government and lawyers for survivors have reached an agreement-in-principle to settle a class-action lawsuit over the operation of boarding homes for Indigenous students attending public schools between 1951 and 1992.

The federally run program saw an estimated 40,000 Indigenous youth placed in non-Indigenous boarding homes where they suffered cultural destruction and abuse, the parties said in a Tuesday news release.

The seven-page agreement was signed last month and lays the groundwork for the parties to reach a comprehensive final deal, which will have no cap on compensation and could see more than $2 billion paid out.

It also presents Ottawa with an opportunity to deliver justice to survivors of Canada’s assimilationist residential school-era policies who were left out of prior settlements, said lead plaintiff Reginald “Reg” Percival.

Percival, 67, a member of the Nisga’a Nation and an addictions support worker in Vancouver, said extreme racism and violence at boarding homes in British Columbia and Alberta left him with trauma he continues to grapple with. He was forcibly removed from his family and community when he was 13 years old.

A 1960s photo of a teen boy standing in front of furniture and a curtain.
Reginald Percival, 13, in 1968 during Christmas. (Submitted by Reginald Percival)

“Probably almost all of us lived under the same kind of conditions that they had in the residential schools, which was a lot of abuse,” said Percival in an interview. “The abuse was not only physical. It was sexual. It was mental. We had to deal with a lot of systemic racism. We were not allowed to contact family. We weren’t allowed to write letters or make phone calls.”

Percival said watching the Harper government’s 2008 apology for Canada’s residential schools brought back memories of boarding homes and encouraged him to seek justice.

Survivors banded together and filed their statement of claim in 2018. Percival said these last four years have been difficult and retraumatizing for many.  “Our healing journey I don’t think is going to start officially for many of us until that apology is there, and the compensation package is rolling,” he said.

“It’s been a tough journey for us. It’s not going to stop. The healing journey continues until our journey of life is over.”

‘A voice in the wilderness’

Percival was a “voice in the wilderness” until now, raising awareness about a program whose existence is not well known, said David Klein, managing partner of Klein Lawyers, the Toronto-based class counsel in the boarding homes and Sixties Scoop cases.

“The Sixties Scoop was a more pernicious program than boarding homes, but it’s only a matter of degree along the same continuum related to cultural genocide. It was a widespread program that is important for Canadians to know existed,” said Klein in an interview.

Klein said the negotiations were difficult and faced several challenges, number one being the question of class size. Lawyers now must hash out a final deal they hope to complete by the end of this year, he said.

The lawyers also must hire a claims administrator, inform potential claimants, explain the settlement to them, and file a motion in court seeking approval from a federal judge.

David Klein, a managing partner with Klein Lawyers, which also acts as class counsel in the Sixties Scoop class action. (

Unlike the Sixties Scoop settlement, which allocated a fixed pot of cash for compensation, the boarding homes deal will be uncapped, meaning everyone who is eligible will receive the compensation they’re due, the agreement says.

Claimants will receive a baseline payment of $10,000 if they were placed in a boarding home. They will then be eligible for anywhere between $10,000 and $200,000 in additional payments depending on the severity of abuse.

The deal will also create a foundation for healing, commemoration, language and culture to which Ottawa will pay $50 million.

“Based on the class size, the compensation grid, and our best guess as to where class members will fall within the grid, our estimated total value of the settlement in terms of compensation to class members is about $2.2 billion,” Klein said.

Push to settle remaining cases

In a written statement, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc  Miller called the agreement-in-principle “a milestone” for thousands of Indigenous people who suffered abuse while living in a boarding home placement overseen by the federal government.

The boarding homes lawsuit is one of the few major remaining cases dealing with residential school era policy that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have been trying to settle.

In January 2022, Ottawa announced a settlement with day scholars who attended residential schools during the day but returned home at night. 

They often suffered similar abuses as their fellow pupils but were excluded from the 2006 residential school settlement agreement.

A scheduled trial in a related class-action lawsuit by more than 300 First Nations was abruptly adjourned in September after the plaintiffs and Canada agreed to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.

The case, dubbed the band reparations class action, seeks collective compensation for the communal harms First Nations suffered due to residential schools.

Those talks are ongoing.

Miller was not available for an interview on Tuesday.

November 20, 2017

Sixties Scoop

Pressure to include Métis survivors excluded from settlement

Pressure is mounting on the federal Liberals to compensate Métis people who were taken from their families in the Sixties Scoop, after they were excluded from an $800-million settlement last month. (Winnipeg Free Press)

March 12, 2019

Indian Day Schools

Proposed settlement agreement reached

Announcement that parties have reached a proposed settlement agreement recognizing the harms suffered by former students of Indian Day Schools. The proposed settlement agreement includes $10,000 in individual compensation for thousands of Indigenous people who suffered harm while attending federally operated Indian Day Schools. Those who experienced physical and sexual abuse are eligible for additional compensation, with amounts ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 based on the severity of the abuses suffered.

The proposed settlement agreement also provides an investment of $200 million to the McLean Day School Settlement Corporation for Legacy Projects that support healing, wellness, education, language, culture and commemoration for class members and their communities.

October 6, 2017

Sixties Scoop

Settlement “Agreement-in-Principle”

Federal Pan Canadian Settlements

The settlement ($800M) “Agreement-in-Principle includes “Indians” (per the Indian Act) and “Inuit” survivors (approximately 20,000) of the Sixties Scoop across Canada, including those who lived on and off reserve, and who were removed from their homes and lost their cultural identities between 1951 and 1991. Settles up to 19 separate lawsuits.

May 11, 2016

Nfld and Labrador

Settlement after being excluded from Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement

$50M settlement after 9 years of litigation after NL was excluded form initial Residential School Settlement Agreement. Students who lived in school residences for less than five years will be eligible for $15,000 in general compensation, while those who lived there five years or more will be eligible for $20,000.

August 19, 2021

Indian Day Schools

Settlement Agreement

 The McLean Day Schools Settlement Corporation is beginning consultations on how to roll out a $200-million fund earmarked for initiatives that support Indian Day School survivors and their families.

May 2, 2019

Kivalliq Hall

Settlement Agreement reached

Former students who attended Kivalliq Hall from the period of June 12, 1985 to December 3I, 1997, who meet the criteria under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (“IRSSA”), are eligible to apply for compensation in the form of a Common Experience Payment (“CEP”). Canada will start accepting application on May 1st 2019.

January 23, 2023

Fed. Govt., Indian Day Schools

Settlement agreement reached for Band class litigation

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada:

Taking care: We recognize this news release may contain information that is difficult for many and that our efforts to honour Survivors and families may act as an unwelcome reminder for those who have suffered hardships through generations of government policies that were harmful to Indigenous Peoples.

The National Residential School Crisis Line offers emotional support and crisis referral services for residential school Survivors and their families. Call the toll-free crisis line at 1-866-925-4419. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Hope for Wellness Help Line also offers support to all Indigenous Peoples. Counsellors are available by phone or online chat. This service is available in English and French, and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at

January 21, 2023 — Vancouver, BC  — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, Band class representatives former Chief Shane Gottfriedson and former Chief Garry Feschuk, along with the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that Canada has signed an agreement with the Representative Plaintiffs who represent the 325 bands that have opted into the Band class litigation.

In this settlement, Canada will provide $2.8 billion to be placed in a not-for-profit trust, independent of the Government. Canada is committed to addressing the collective harm caused by the residential schools system and the loss of language, culture, and heritage – through this settlement  guided by the Four Pillars developed by the Representative Plaintiffs. The Four Pillars include the revival and protection of Indigenous languages, the revival and protection of Indigenous cultures, the protection and promotion of heritage, and wellness for Indigenous communities and their members. This resolution aims to revitalize Indigenous education, culture, and language – to support Survivors in healing and reconnecting with their heritage.

The funding disbursement plan, developed by the plaintiffs, outlines an initial amount of $200,000 for each band class member to support the development of a funding proposal that reflects the objectives and purposes of the Four Pillars. These proposals will be reviewed and used to support the disbursement of the Initial Kick-Start Funds, totaling $325 million. Each Band class member will receive a share of annual investment income that is available.

Further information on the terms of the settlement will be publicly available over the next month as part of the broader notice plan. The parties are expected to appear before the Federal Court on February 27, 2023, to seek approval of the terms of the settlement. The Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the class members.

Addressing historical wrongs and the painful legacy still suffered by Survivors, their families and communities is at the heart of reconciliation, and is essential to renewing and building relationships with Indigenous Peoples.


“Our Nations started this lawsuit because we saw the devastating impacts that residential schools had on our Nations as a whole. The residential school system decimated our languages, profoundly damaged our cultures, and left a legacy of social harms. The effects go beyond my generation. It will take many generations for us to heal. This settlement is about taking steps towards undoing the damage that was done to our Nations.”

Shane Gottfriedson
Representative Plaintiff and Former Chief of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc

“It has taken Canada far too long to own up to its history, own up to the genocide it committed and recognize the collective harm caused to our Nations by Residential Schools. It is time that Canada not only recognize this harm, but help undo it by walking with us. This settlement is a good first step.”

Garry Feschuk
Representative Plaintiff and Former Chief of shíshálh

“As a result of residential schools, within a few generations, sháshíshálhem went from being the first language of nearly everyone in our Nation to being on the verge of disappearing forever. We lost our last fluent speakers over the past few years. Much of this harm cannot be undone. With today’s announcement, First Nations will be able to continue restoring and revitalizing some of what was lost.”

hiwus Warren Paull
shíshálh Nation

“Canada spent over 100 years trying to destroy our languages and cultures through Residential Schools. Canada did not succeed, but it did cause profound damage. It is going to take incredible efforts by our Nations to restore our languages and culture – this settlement gives Nations the resources and tools needed to make a good start.”

Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc

“The Grand Council of the Crees is proud to have stood with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and shíshálh Nation in this historic struggle for recognition of the harms done to our Nations as a result of Residential Schools. My hope is that this settlement will help this generation and future generations reclaim our cultures and languages.”

Dr. Matthew Coon Come
Former Grand Chief of, and representative for, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

“We believe that all Survivors deserve justice and the compensation to which they are owed. As we finalize this settlement, we are reminded of the importance of collaborative dialogue and partnership in resolving historic grievances outside of the court system. Together, we have developed a settlement that will support the Band class members in their healing journeys for generations to come.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

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For more information, media may contact:

Aïssatou Diop
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

CIRNAC Media Relations:
Phone: 819-934-2302

March 13, 2019

Indian Day Schools

Settlement range for Indian Day Schools survivors

Feathers of Hope – “The Government of Canada announced a range for the settlement for Indigenous Day School survivors on March 12, 2019. The lack of detail on the process, clarity on the individual adjudication process and the principle of access to legal counsel is sorely missing.  We are calling on the Minister of Indigenous Crown Relations, Carolyn Bennett, to provide clarity on these issues as soon as possible,” said, Joan Jack, on behalf of a number of class action members.  

May Crown-Indigenous Relations and Norther Affairs Canada – this settlement process has been streamlined so that class members should not require counsel to complete their claim. If assistance is needed, survivors will be able to seek advice from the administrator, Deloitte, or class counsel, Gowling LLP, without charge.

The claims process is paper-based and does not require survivors to testify. It is intended to minimize the burden on survivors in pursuing their claims and to attempt to avoid re-traumatization through a hearing process. Based on concerns and objections raised by some class members, the parties have made the following modifications to the agreement:

June 7, 2021

Indian Day Schools

Settlement reached with Survivor and Descendant Class Members

Crown-Indigenous Relations – A settlement has been reached with Survivor and Descendant Class Members in the Gottfriedson Indian Residential Schools Day Scholar class action. 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.

November 1, 2021

Fed. Govt., Sixties Scoop

Sixties Scoop: Call for federal government to commission a national inquiry

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), and the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada – MKO, SCO and the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada are calling on the federal government to commission a national inquiry into the Sixties Scoop and the removal of First Nations children from their communities. Recently, Chiefs of MKO and SCO unanimously passed resolutions in support of the 60s Scoop Legacy’s call for a national inquiry into the Sixties Scoop and for long-term funding support for Survivors.

October 25, 2021

Fed. Govt., St. Anne's Residential School

St. Anne’s IRS

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) – Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum today called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end Canada’s relentless legal battles against Survivors of the notorious St. Anne’s Indian Residential School and meet with them in the spirt of reconciliation during a press conference in Ottawa: “The Survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School suffered inconceivable horrors as children, and it is unconscionable that the federal government is re-traumatizing them by dragging them through the courts in its relentless effort to deny them justice.

January, 2009

Indian Day Schools

Start of legal action against Indian Day Schools

Garry McLean started a legal action regarding the forced attendance of Aboriginal students at Indian Day Schools across Canada. This proposed national Class Action is the first of its kind and seeks compensation for the damages and abuses suffered by all Indian Day School students who were forced to attend Indian Day Schools and were excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Potential number of students = 200,000

March 13, 2018

Fed. Govt.

Student on student abuse

The government believes there are some instances where Indian Residential School survivors who suffered abuse at the hands of fellow students may not have received fair compensation. The Government will pursue negotiated settlements with survivors whose claims of student-on-student abuse were previously dismissed or under-compensated.

January 24, 2021

Nfld and Labrador

Supreme Court rejects the Archdiocese of St. John’s appeal

CBC – Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal from the Archdiocese of St. John’s ruling that “The Archdiocese of St. John’s is liable for the abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1950s… The case has been snaking its way through the courts for 21 years. The church is now liable to pay the outstanding bills left behind by the Christian Brothers of Ireland when the organization went bankrupt from settling child abuse lawsuits in 2012.

December 28, 2020

Nfld and Labrador

Supreme Court to determine Catholic Church liability for Christian Brothers

CBC – Supreme Court will decide in January whether The Archdiocese of St. John’s is liable for physical and sexual abuse suffered by Indigenous claimants at the Mount Cashel Orphanage. The Archdiocese of St. John’s claims no ownership over the orphanage, and no affiliation with the brothers who worked there. A Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador judge sided with the church in 2018, but three appellate judges in the province sided with the victims in July 2020, ruling the Catholic Church was liable for damages because of its close relationship with the Christian Brothers. Canada’s top court will soon decide whether to hear one last appeal or put the case to bed and leave the Catholic Church to pay for the sins of the brothers who ran the orphanage and school.

October 20, 2022

Fed. Govt.

Supreme Court will not hear from St. Anne’s residential school survivors

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada said Thursday it will not to hear a case of residential school survivors who have fought a years-long battle against Ottawa to release thousands of records.

The group of survivors from St. Anne’s residential school in northern Ontario had looked to the country’s highest court after spending the last decade fighting the federal government to hand over documents.

The Supreme Court did not provide a reason for dismissing the leave to appeal, as is usual.

The survivors say the federal government is in breach of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement because it withheld documentation of abuse when deciding upon their compensation.

The 2006 agreement between the federal government, residential school survivors, the Assembly of First Nations and churches governed what financial recompense survivors would receive. Documentary evidence was supposed to help determine the payments made to those who suffered physical and sexual abuse while being forced to attend the church-run, government-funded institutions.

St. Anne’s operated in Fort Albany, Ont., until 1976 and is remembered for horrific stories of abuse.

Edmund Metatawabin, a survivor and former chief of Fort Albany First Nation, said children at the school were sexually abused, punished with shocks delivered by electric chairs and forced to eat their own vomit.

In its fillings, the group of St. Anne’s survivors alleges that “there have been significant procedural and jurisdictional gaps exposed in the administration and enforcement of Canada’s mandatory disclosure obligations” to each claimant under the residential schools settlement agreement. 

In 2014, about 60 claimants successfully challenged the federal government for not disclosing the transcripts of criminal trials, investigative reports from the Ontario Provincial Police and civil proceedings about child abuse as part of the compensation process. 

Those pages detail abuses that took place at St. Anne’s and outline “persons of interest” in the investigations, the survivors’ filings say.

The Ontario Superior Court ordered that the 12,300 pages of records be produced in 2014.  But the materials the government provided were heavily redacted, the survivors say, meaning that it was still impossible to determine fair compensation. 

“At its core, this case is about the need to provide access to justice for the survivors,” the court brief reads.  “Claimants may have been denied compensation or undercompensated for their individual child abuse claim due to non-disclosure of evidence by Canada.”

A lawyer for Canada had asked for the leave for appeal to be dismissed. The federal government has maintained that it has met its obligations on document disclosure.

The last appeal by survivors was dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal as “moot” in December, since legal arguments were framed around an appeal to the independent review itself and the review had been delivered.

But “fundamental questions remain unanswered,” the survivors’ group said in its brief, in which it urged guidance from the Supreme Court.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the court’s dismissal of the case “heartbreaking.” “It makes it clear more than ever that the government has a role to play in providing justice for these survivors,” he said outside the House of Commons Thursday. 

“They should be meeting with the community as has been requested a number of times. They didn’t want to go to court.”

Charlie Angus, a New Democrat MP representing northern Ontario who has advocated for St. Anne’s survivors, said in a statement that “it is a sad day for justice in Canada that the Supreme Court has opted to trust the word of the government of Canada over the survivors.”

Justice Minster David Lametti said Thursday his government has tried its best to make sure the requested records were available to families. Marc Miller, the minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, said his door remains open for St. Anne’s survivors who want to discuss the case. 

As for next steps, he pointed to a 2021 report prepared by a third party. That report flagged 11 compensation cases from former St. Anne’s students who could be eligible for further payments, based on Ottawa not having initially disclosed police documents about abuses suffered. 

Miller said the federal government has completed its internal review and will now look to a court monitor to review the cases.  “We have to just be very careful with expectations because they can run high and we have to let the adjudicator be nominated first and foremost.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2022.

March 26, 2021

St. Anne's Residential School

Survivors of St. Anne’s IRS reject Ottawa’s independent review

 Nishnawbe Aski Nation – Survivors of St. Anne’s Residential school are rejecting Ottawa’s independent review announced on March 18, 2021 outright. Canada hasn’t consulted the survivors with any meaningful dialogue on this new process and without their duty to consult in good faith. “We reject Minister Bennett’s offer as it minimizes the rights of survivors and access to a fair and just review.” said Leo Ashamock, PKKA Board member.

On further evaluation of Canada’s offer of an independent review, we found that it focused only on a handful of St. Anne’s survivors. This would close the door on possibly hundreds of survivors impacted with the introduction of new information. It takes away from their right to choose through a new legal process.

“We are extremely disappointed with the underhanded legal tactics by the Government of Canada to deny the justice that these survivors so rightfully deserve. Prolonging this senseless legal battle with false promises of an independent review makes a mockery of this government’s commitment to reconciliation. I implore Minster Bennett to direct her officials do the right thing, ”said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

June 2, 2015

Metis Nation

TRC Final report fails Métis residential school survivors

In its final report released today, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission fails to address the need for the government of Canada to deal with the survivors of Métis residential schools.

“Other than a few of the recommendations that include Métis in proposed actions, we are treated as an afterthought”, said Métis National Council President Clément Chartier.  “Little thought was given or advice provided to deal with the exclusion of Métis residential schools from federal settlements agreements.”