We call upon the parties and, in particular, the federal government, to work collaboratively with plaintiffs not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to have disputed legal issues determined expeditiously on an agreed set of facts.
Indigenous Watchdog Status Update
|Current Status||Aug. 17, 2020||IN PROGRESS|
|Previous Status||June 15, 2020||IN PROGRESS|
Why “In Progress”?
Government has reached settlement agreements with survivors of the Sixties Scoop, Newfoundland and Labrador Residential Schools, Indian Day Schools (as of Agreement-in-Principal on Dec. 18, 2018), Métis Nation of Saskatchewan (May 8, 2019) and Kivalliq Hall in Nunavut (April 16, 2019) that had been excluded from the TRC Settlement Agreement. The St. Annes’s Residential Schools settlement is still pending.
Settlements for parties excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
Student on student abuse
Mar. 13, 2018 – 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.
May 8, 2019 – 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.
St. Anne’s Indian Residential School
May 2, 2018 – 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.
Residential Schools Class Action Settlement, Newfoundland and Labrador
May 11, 2016 – $50M settlement after 9 years of litigation after NL was excluded form initial Residential School Settlement Agreement.
Nov. 24, 2017 – 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.
Kivalliq Hall 1985 – 1995, Nunavut
May 2, 2019 – 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.
Indian Day Schools
Aug. 19, 2019 – 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
June 2, 2020 – 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.
Mar. 11, 2019 – 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.
Oct. 6, 2017 – 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.
Nov. 20, 2017 – 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)
Canadian Bar Association
Responding to the TRC Calls to Action
March, 2016 – In 2009, the CBA called on the federal government to provide an alternative dispute resolution process for Indigenous students who were victimized in settings other the residential schools governed by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, either by expanding the scope of the Independent Assessment Process or by creating a similar process for Indigenous Canadians who lost language and culture or suffered physical, sexual or psychological abuse while compelled to attend schools for indigenous children. The CBA endorses call to action 29 as consistent with that approach.
Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019
The Government of Canada has committed to resolving Indigenous Childhood Claims Litigation outside of the courts. This commitment to reconciliation and resolution of claims of this nature has been demonstrated by the settlement of the Anderson litigation (Newfoundland and Labrador Residential Schools), the Prime Minister’s apology to former students of the Newfoundland and Labrador Residential Schools, the appointment of James Igloliorte, a former student, as the Minister’s Special Representative to lead healing and commemoration in Anderson, the Status Indians and Inuit Sixties Scoop settlement, the creation of Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation and the proposed settlement of the Mclean Indian Day School litigation.