Ottawa proposes settlement with residential school day scholars

Ottawa proposes settlement with residential school day scholars

The federal government announced Wednesday that it will extend the eligibility for the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to those who attended residential schools during the day but returned to their community at night.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett said each eligible survivor of day schools would receive $10,000, the same amount provided to those who stayed full-time at the sites.

“While many Canadians are aware of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, few are aware that not all survivors of residential schools could receive compensation under that agreement. The day scholars, those who attended a residential school during the day, but returned home at night could seek compensation for physical and sexual abuse suffered on the school premises but unlike residents, they were not eligible to receive compensation for the experience,” she said.

The announcement also includes a $50 million Indigenous-led not-for-profit foundation dubbed The Day Scholar Revitalization Society.

“We know that in many cases, the harm extends far beyond what can be fized by any dollar amount. We know that the impacts of residential schools have left scars not only on survivors but also their descendants,” she said. “The [foundation] will provide funding to survivors and descendants to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage and commemoration.”

Bennett said the agreement is signed but is awaiting court approval and that between now and August, day school survivors will be able to provide feedback to the court.

More to come…

If you are a former residential school student in distress, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419

Additional mental-health support and resources for Indigenous people are available here.

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