Federal Reserve Settles $2.8 Billion Boarding School Students Class Action Lawsuit

Federal Government on January 21 announced Members of two BC First Nations bands will pay $2.8 billion to settle a class action lawsuit filed seeking compensation for students attending boarding schools as day-scholars.

Japanese scholar Students who go to boarding school during the day and go home every day are distinguished from students who live in a school.

The case, known as the Gottfriedson case, submitted In 2012, then-Chief of Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc, Shane Gottfriedson, and then-Chief of Shishar, Garry Feschuk, presented Japanese scholars and their descendants on behalf of the 325 First Nations who chose to participate. held on behalf of

legal action claimed Indian boarding schools (IRS) ‘destroyed’ [the day scholars’ and their descendants’] violated language and culture, their cultural and linguistic rights, and caused psychological harm. ”

Royal and Indigenous Relations Minister Mark Miller said the just-signed settlement was for “unfinished business” from a previous settlement in 2021, calling this The second of the two agreements under litigation.

“The settlements so announced today do not erase or make up for the past, but they do address the collective damage Canada’s deep colonial past did in the form of loss of language and culture. , and loss of legacy,” Miller said.

Millar said the $2.8 billion will be held in non-profit trust funds that operate independently of the government.

This settlement specifically applies to IRS day-scholar students who did not qualify for the 2006 settlement, which applied only to IRS live-in students under the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The agreement is subject to federal court approval between February 27th and March 1st, followed by an appeal period before the funds will be released and transferred to the trust fund.

The funds are intended to be used to promote and protect the language, culture, heritage, and health of First Nations communities.

Miller said it was the first time Canada has offered compensation to Indigenous bands and entire communities for the damage caused by boarding schools.

Each First Nations Band develops a 10-year implementation plan for using and distributing the funds.

Canadian Press contributed to this report.

Marnie Cathcart

Marnie Cathcart is a reporter based in Edmonton.