2022 General Grant – Bridging the Gap Initiative for Indian Day School Claims
The Nunavut Law Foundation is pleased to support
the Bridging the Gap Initiative
In March 2019, the Government of Canada announced a nationwide class action settlement agreement to compensate an estimated 140,000 people who attended federally run Indian Day Schools (IDS) from the late 1800s to the year 2000, where many experienced physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. In some cases, the abuse was severe. These abuses were in addition to the mocking, denigration and humiliation of students by reason of their culture and language. Through McLean v Canada, the Plaintiffs have sought the recognition of and justice for the harms inflicted on former students of Day Schools and their family members.
The Court has appointed Roger Augustine and Claudette Commanda as Representative Plaintiffs for the Survivor Class and Mariette Buckshot as Representative Plaintiff for the Family Class. Former students have until July 2022 to apply for compensation, and they must fill out a complex 15-page claim form with a detailed description of the harms they experienced. After community feedback expressed the need for greater support and access to the process, the Court appointed Argyle to providing claimants with culturally appropriate, trauma-informed assistance.
Claims Assistance in Nunavut
The Tukisigiarvik Society is supporting Argyle for this process in Nunavut. However, since Argyle’s mandate does not include support for the Family Class Members who need help with Wills & Estates or Power of Attorney, the Law Society of Nunavut has taken steps to bridge the gap. Many victims of the IDS passed away and their family also suffer the consequences of the abuses. Providing direct support to the families who need assistance to navigate the complex legal world regarding wills and estates is facilitating access to justice for the Family Class Member’s claims.