Polly Jack gets applause at a meeting in the Siem Lelum gym in Duncan in 2011 that featured Aboriginal leader Phil Fontaine. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

Polly Jack gets applause at a meeting in the Siem Lelum gym in Duncan in 2011 that featured Aboriginal leader Phil Fontaine. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

Indian Day School students eligible for $10K apiece

Islanders included in settlement package reached with Canada’s federal government

First Nations people who attended Indian Day Schools may be in line for a financial settlement.

Everyone who attended an Indian Day School that was “established, funded, controlled and managed by the Government of Canada and suffered harm as a consequence of their Indian Day School attendance” are included under the agreement, and could each get $10,000 if they pass the criteria.

Duncan’s Polly Jack, who has been trying to help former day school students in the Cowichan Valley to get involved with the process, told the Citizen March 14 that she was delighted with the result.

“People can get forms online or go into a local band office and request a form. To me, because I’ve been doing forms since it started, and because there’s a resolution coming to it, the pain and suffering they endured is being noticed. The culture and not being able to speak our language in school. There’s justice for our people now. I think this is a real celebration,” she said.

The Government of Canada said last week that, in “continuing the work of righting past wrongs, especially those involving Indigenous children,” there’s hope at the end of the tunnel for the many survivors of these schools, after years of trying to find a solution.

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, along with Claudette Commanda and Roger Augustine, announced March 12 that they have reached a proposed settlement agreement recognizing the harms suffered by former students.

According to a statement released by the ministry, this 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.

The minister was pleased that this long-standing discussion is reaching an end.

“Today marks a historic step forward, as we have reached a proposed settlement agreement for former students of Indian Day Schools. This truly is an example of the type of work we can accomplish together when we negotiate rather than litigate resolution of childhood claims,” Bennett said.. Canada is committed to righting historical wrongs, and will continue to work with survivors in the spirit of healing, commemoration and reconciliation.”

Beginning in the 1920s, according to federal government figures, close to 200,000 Indigenous children attended over 700 federally operated Indian Day Schools.

“Many students who attended these schools experienced trauma, and in some cases, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of individuals entrusted with their care,” states the government release.

Further information about the proposed settlement, including how class members can register their support or objection to the proposed settlement agreement, is available here.

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read