PREPARED FOR THE MAKIVIK ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (APRIL 2021)
FOR INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE, WHO WAS AWARDED BY COURT A MANDATE OF SUPPORT IN EXCLUSIVITY?
Based on the court approved order, the Class Council Gowling Law Firm is the exclusive assistance resource for all former day school students from coast to coast. You can contact the Class Council at 1-844-539-3815 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support and assistance are made available to you free of charge throughout the process. Note that, as they are receiving a large amount of calls, we were informed that wait time may be important. You can also consult the official website at www.indiandayschools.com.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS AND THE 2007 RESIDENTIAL SCOOLS CLASS ACTION?
The Day Schools Class Action is called the McLean Class Action, for Mr. Garry McLean, the Indian Day School advocate from Manitoba Ojibway First Nation who acted as representative plaintiff to it. He passed away in February 2019 before seeing all outcomes of his 2009 initiated lawsuit, which was brought forward for the people who attended Indian Day Schools, or Federal Day Schools, funded, controlled and managed by the Government of Canada throughout Indigenous communities in Canada. They differ from the residential schools, which were accommodating the students after school hours, in residences or hostels. Day Schools were attended only during the day by students. In Nunavik, schools operated first as Day Schools, then as residential schools – for a few years in four communities (Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak, Kangirsuk, Kangiqsualujjuaq) – and then reverted to Day Schools operations only. Schools funded, operated or managed by the Province, or by private organizations, are not covered by the Day Schools Class Action. Likewise, students who went to Ottawa to further their education are also not eligible under this Day Schools Class Action. The Residential Schools Class Action was settled in 2007 by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The Day Schools Class Action was settled through a Settlement Agreement on August 19, 2019.
WHAT WAS THIS DAY SCHOOLS CLASS ACTION PURPOSE?
The Day Schools Class Action intended to see compensation offered to all Inuit, First Nations and Métis students who attended the various Federal and Indian Day Schools for the harm they have suffered while at school.
WHAT IS THE FEDERAL DAY SCHOOLS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT?
On August 19, 2019, the Class Action saw its resolves by way of a Winnipeg Federal Court approved Settlement Agreement. Following this court approval, former students had 90 days, or until November 18th, 2019, to decide if they wanted to be part of the Agreement (opt out), i.e., not to be bound by the Settlement Agreement and rather pursue their own personal compensation for harm while retaining their right to bring an individual claim against Canada. Since fewer than 10,000 former students did decide to opt-out from the Agreement, Canada didn’t have to assess the possible cancellation, or renegotiation, of the Agreement. Implementation commenced 120 days from approval date, or on January 13, 2020.
FOR HOW LONG SHOULD THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS AGREEMENT RUNS?
Applications could from January 13, 2020 be forwarded to the Claims Administrator. The Application process will run for two years and a half (2Y 1/2) or until July 13, 2022, with a possible six months extension. The Company “Deloitte” acts as Claims Administrator to this claims process.
IS THE DOCUMENT THAT I HAVE SENT TO CLASS COUNSEL WAY BACK THEN AN “APPLICATION”?
The document you have sent to Class Counsel before settlement approval is not your Application. It was rather a “notice of interest” which will not be considered as a formal claim application. We cannot emphasize enough the need for you to apply for compensation using an Application Form. If contacted by the Class Counsel on this, it will be very important to act positively in the Application process so not to miss this compensation and remediation opportunity. You can at any time have confirmed reception of your Application Form with the Claims Administrator’s Call Center: 1-888-221-2898.
IS COMPENSATION ATTACHED TO THE NUMBER OF YEARS SPENT IN FEDERAL DAY SCHOOLS?
No, it is not. Any former student who suffered harm at a Federal Day School may qualify for compensation. The amount of compensation will depend on the kind of harm experienced notwithstanding the number of years spent in Federal Day School(s). Compensation will range from Level 1 to Level 5. Level 1 compensation should be awarded if you suffered abuse like mocking or humiliation because of your culture, language or identity, threats of violence, sexual comments or some kind of physical abuse. In turn, Level 5 compensation will be awarded for the most serious physical or sexual harm suffered while attending Federal Day School(s). Since most former students who attended a Federal Day School experienced harm emotionally, physically, or both, it is expected that eligible former students be eligible for at least the base 1 level of compensation set at $10,000.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR COMPENSATION?
Any former student who suffered harm at a Federal Day School may qualify for compensation. The amount of compensation will depend on the kind of harm experienced. It will not be attached to the number of years of attendance at Federal Day School(s). Former students will get the same amount of compensation if they suffered the same kind of harm, notwithstanding their number of years in schools. Compensation will range from Level 1 to Level 5. Level 1 compensation should be awarded if you suffered abuse like mocking or humiliation because of your culture, language or identity, threats of violence, sexual comments or some kind of physical abuse. Level 5 compensation will be awarded for the most serious physical or sexual harm suffered while attending Federal Day School(s). All former students who attended a Federal Day School experienced harm emotionally, physically, or both. It is foreseen that all eligible former students should be eligible for at least the base level of compensation set at $10,000.
IS THIS COMPENSATION TAXABLE?
No, compensation is not taxable as being not recognized as “income” by the Canadian Revenue Agency.
HOW WILL I QUALIFY FOR COMPENSATION?
To obtain compensation you will have to fill out and submit the required Application Form within the prescribed 2 years and 6 months deadline, or until July 13, 2022. If the claim is not submitted before then, you will not be able to present an application afterwards and will lose all your rights to sue Canada for any harm relating to these Federal Day Schools. You can get assistance with your Application by contacting the Claims Help Line: 1-888-221-2898.
HOW ABOUT FORMER STUDENTS WHO PASSED AWAY?
If a former student died or dies on or after July 31, 2007, the estate will be entitled to present an application before July 13, 2022. Otherwise, if one former student submits an application before his or her death under said time period of reference, the application will be considered valid. Makivvik is recommending that you contact its Nunavik Community Justice Centre in order to obtain the required assistance on all intricated estate aspects: email@example.com; 418-318-1656.
WILL I HAVE NECESSARILY TO APPEND EVIDENCE OR DOCUMENTS, OR TO APPEAR IN SUPPORT OF MY APPLICATION?
Although suggested in the Application Form, the fact that you may not have at hand any of the “required” documents – such as report card(s), photo(s), letter(s), etc. – would not affect your submission. You will have the possibility to replace these with a Sworn Declaration made by a guarantor who may be (1) a commissioner of oaths such as the NV Secretary-Treasurers (2) an elected official such as Mayors or LHC Presidents (3) other professionals such as lawyers, doctors, police officers. This declaration will be found on Page 12 of the Application Form. The Guarantor will not have to see the rest of your Application Form. He/She will only have to see you signing the upper part of Page 12, and then will act upon such signature. Your Application Form and the information it contains belong to you, and the Guarantor will act for the only purpose of the Sworn Declaration on Page 12. Furthermore, unlike the Residential School process, no one will have to appear before assessors to share their story of harm. Applications are to rely solely on written format, where a narrative of the events should be inscribed. These, unless contrary evidence is produced, are to be believed and trusted at their face value.
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBLE FEDERAL DAY SCHOOLS FROM A NUNAVIK STANDPOINT?
The Settlement Agreement recognizes 11 Federal Day Schools in Nunavik. They are listed at the Schedule K to the Agreement (https://indiandayschools.com/en/wp-content/uploads/schedule-k. pdf). Through requests for correction/modification/addition, Makivvik secured, as part of the Schedule K eligible schools and dates, 1978 as the main date of transfer of the Federal Day Schools in existence. Some schools also operated as Residential Schools. Former students living in hostels or school residences should not see their claim positively received. Former students who attended these schools as Day Students can still forward an Application. Years of operations as Residential Schools have been assessed as follows:
– In Kangiqsualujjuaq, in 1960.
– In Kuujjuarapik, from 1960 to 1970.
– In Kangirsuk, from 1960 to 1962.
– In Inukjuak, from 1960 to 1971.
HOW MUCH MONEY IS INVOLVED?
A total amount of $1.4 billion is made available by Canada for Level 1 compensation ($10,000 per person). This is based on the estimate of the numbers of former students in Canada which may be from 120,000 and 200,000. An unlimited amount of money will be made available by Canada for all other levels of compensation. An amount of $200 million for legacy projects is set aside, to be administrated by the McLean Day Schools Settlement Corporation (MDSSC), a not-for-profit body created for such purpose. Projects relating to healing, wellness, culture, language, identity, commemoration, etc. would by it be assessed for financial contribution. The MDSSC will be consulting with survivors and their families on what their expectations are when it comes to operation and administration of the Legacy Fund. The MDSSC is for the time-being hosting virtual meetings and email notification and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Under an expected “first come, first served approach,” it is recommended that communities get prepared in advance to take advantage of this funding in order to respond to their members’ needs. Next, the Class Council Toronto Law Firm Gowling received $55 million as the exclusive body mandated towards the administration and implementation of the Agreement, plus a $7 million retainer to accompany the claimants throughout the process. No former student is going to have to pay for these services, the fees being assumed by Canada outside of the compensation envelopes.
CAN I ASK THE CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR TO RECONSIDER ITS DECISION ABOUT MY CLAIM?
If you have received a decision from the Claims Administrator in which your claim was leveled down, you are able to apply for a Reconsideration through the Claims Administrator: 1-888-221-2898. And although receiving this decision might have taken a long time, timelines for Reconsideration responses are generally much shorter. Hence, you should swiftly act upon this Reconsideration process. If you accept a Level Down assessment, Claims Administrators is indicating that it should take approximately 10-12 weeks to receive your cheque. A request for Reconsideration should in turn take approximately 12-14 weeks to receive a decision letter. You should at any moment discuss your case and receive advice on Reconsideration by contacting the Class Counsel: 1-844-539-3815.
IS THIS AGREEMENT, OR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, PROVIDING EMOTIONAL HEALTH SUPPORT?
No, neither the Settlement Agreement nor the Government of Canada are providing specific emotional health support. This important matter was of course raised by the three Inuit Nunangat Land Claims Organizations (Makivvik, IRC and NTI). Yet, you should at any time reach the general assistance lines if needed, such as:
– Your Community CLSC: #9090
– The Traditional Health Support Workers (Monday-Friday 9h-17h) 1-877-686-2845
– The Kamatsiaqtut Help Line 1-800-265-3333
– Class Counsel: 1-844-539-3815.
WHERE AND HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION OR GET SUPPORT WITH MY APPLICATION?
You can receive assistance on how to fill your application by checking the Class Counsel Website (www.indiandayschools.com) or by contacting the Claims Help Line: 1-888-221-2898, or the Class Council for one-on-one assistance (email@example.com; 1-844-539-3815). The Class Council is also organizing Community Assistance Sessions through various means (mainly online at the current time considering the pandemic circumstances).
WHAT IS MAKIVIK’S ROLE IN THIS PROCESS?
Unlike the Residential School process, Makivvik and other Land Claims Organizations were not awarded any role in the process. Makivvik along with NTI and IRC have been advocating the specific needs of the Inuit Nunangat former students. It went from requesting an extension of the originally intended one-year deadline for application, to requesting emotional health support, to assessing the accuracy of the eligible Inuit Federal Day Schools listing, and more. We notably contracted the National Library and Archives Canada to collect relevant information on the various Inuit Day Schools. We answer questions on a regular basis from individuals, community meetings and groups, and liaise information regarding the process. As one caller pointed out: “we do not know that council firm, but we know Makivvik and we trust it will help us.” Hence, Makivvik intends to continue to inform members as much as it is allowed to do so without breaching the Agreement and orders. You can contact Mylène Larivière at our Legal Department (firstname.lastname@example.org).