Federal Court approves settlement agreement for Indian Day Schools

OTTAWA — A class action settlement for Canada’s church-and-state run federal Indian Day Schools has been approved by a federal court.

The settlement, which is open to some former elementary school students at Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit, will offer a basic compensation of $10,000 to former students, while those who those who experienced physical and sexual abuse at the schools would also be eligible for additional individual compensation of between $50,000 and $200,000 for harms, including physical and sexual abuse, linked to attending one of the federally run institutions.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the court’s decision marks recognition of the hard work undertaken by all sides toward finding a lasting and meaningful resolution for former students and their families.

A 90-day opt-out period and a 60-day appeal period will begin now that the settlement has been approved, meaning that any class member who does not agree with its terms can choose to remove themselves from the process.

Nearly 200,000 Indigenous children attended more than 700 Indian day schools, often enduring trauma that in some cases included physical and sexual abuse.

The schools operated separately from the residential school system and were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement approved in 2006.

Several local schools which were affiliated with church bodies in Canada are listed under the federal day schools settlement.

Tyendinaga’s numbered elementary schools 1-4 Central, Eastern and Western were affiliated with the Anglican Church and ran from 1882 to 1967. Mission school was a Roman Catholic affiliated school and ran from 1883 to 1956.

Oneida Nation of the Thames four numbered elementary schools are included. Oneida No.1 from 1864 – 1968, Oneida No.2 from 1873 – 1968, Oneida No.3 from 1882 – 1968 and Oneida No.4 from 1951 – 1968. The United and Anglican churches shared affiliation with those schools for the duration of their operation. The Standing Stone school is included and operated on Oneida Nation of the Thames from 1968 to 1993. It is not affiliated with a church.

Six Nations numbered elementary schools 1-12 are included in the federal day schools list. All of them were affiliated with the Anglican Church and operated from the late 1800s through to the late 1980s, some as late as 1990. All of the numbered elementary schools were closed in a community-wide boycott after it was discovered they were contaminated with asbestos.

Jamieson School and J.C. Hill Elementary/Ohsweken Central are included in the list, affiliated with the Anglican Church which ceased in 1990. The schools are still open today but are no longer church and state run.

Oliver M. Smith, Emily C. General and I.L Thomas Schools are on the list for the year 1990. These schools have no history of church affiliation.

Mississaugas of the Credit has two schools listed; New Credit School from 1957 – 1994 and New Credit Central from 1957 – 1960. Both were affiliated with the Anglican Church.

For more information about how to opt out or submit a claim visit http://www.indiandayschools.com

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