FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Day Scholars Class Action

Top questions

Who is this proposed settlement for?

Day Scholars are students who attended a Residential School only during the day and did not live at the school. All Day Scholars who attended a Residential School during the day only, for part of or all of a school year, are included in the proposed settlement. These people are called Survivor Class Members.

Descendant Class Members (the natural or adopted children of Day Scholars) are also included in this settlement. For a list of Residential Schools where there were, or might have been, Day Scholars, please see Schedule E.

What is the compensation available in the proposed settlement?

There are two types of compensation in the proposed settlement: direct compensation for each Survivor Class Member, as well as compensation to create the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund for the benefit of both the Survivor and the Descendant Classes.

Individual compensation for each Survivor Class Member is $10,000. There is no limit to how many people will be able to apply. All approved Claimants are eligible for $10,000, regardless of how long the Survivor Class Member was a Day Scholar.

The settlement includes all Day Scholars who were alive as of May 30, 2005. Certain family members of Day Scholars who have died after May 30, 2005, or their estates are eligible to claim the $10,000 in compensation.

The settlement also includes $50 million for the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund used to support and benefit Survivor and Descendant Class Members through healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration. The Day Scholars Revitalization Fund will be managed by a not-for-profit Society (the Society) that is independent of Canada. Day Scholars and their children will be able to apply for grants to access the money in the Society. More information can be found in Schedule F.

When can I apply for compensation?

You cannot apply for compensation yet. All settlements in class actions must be approved by the Federal Court before they can take effect. The next step in this process is a settlement approval hearing, which will start on September 7, 2021. If the judge decides to approve the proposed settlement after the court hearing, information regarding how to apply for compensation and when you can expect to receive it will be available on this website. If the settlement is approved, we are optimistic that you will be able to apply for compensation by the end of 2021.

What will be involved in the application process?

The claims process was designed to be as simple as possible to minimize the burden on all Survivor Class Members. Survivor Class Members who make a claim do not need to provide any information regarding their experiences at Residential Schools, or to provide any supporting documents. Instead, claimants only need to fill out a simple form.

In most cases where a Survivor Class Member has attended at least one Residential School known to have Day Scholars, they will only need to fill out a form identifying which Residential School they attended, and for what years. In some cases, where a Survivor Class Member has only attended a Residential School not known to have Day Scholars, Claimants will be required to provide a formal sworn statement confirming that they were a Day Scholar and explaining where they lived when they attended the Residential School as a Day Scholar. More detailed information regarding the Claims Process can be found in Schedule C.

For cases where people are applying on behalf of a loved one who has died after May 30, 2005, they must complete a claim form, as well as an Estate claim form. More information regarding the Estate Claims Process can be found in Schedule D.

In all cases, Claimants are required to submit the brief Claim Form to a Claims Administrator before the deadline (21 months after the Claims Process opens). Details on the Claims Process can be found in Schedule C or in Schedule D for Estate Claims.

Overall, the process will be easy to access, quick, user-friendly, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed. The decision-makers will also assume that claimants are acting honestly and in good faith. The decision-makers will draw all reasonable and favourable inferences that can be made in favour of a Claimant.

What benefits does the Descendant Class receive in the Settlement?

A key part of the settlement is the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund – a $50 million fund set up for the benefit of the Survivor Class and the Descendant Class. The funds will be used to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration, and will be managed by a not-for-profit society that is independent of Canada.

Descendant Classes (i.e., the children of Day Scholars) will be able to apply to access the funding within the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund.

Can I apply for advance payments?
No, there will not be any advance payments. If the proposed settlement is approved by the court, the process is designed to be quick and will get people their full payment as soon as possible.
Why $10,000? Why not more?

The goal was to ensure that all Day Scholars received meaningful compensation in their lifetimes for the loss of language and culture they suffered as a result of their attendance of Residential Schools as a Day Scholar. The settlement is about making sure no one is left behind. The truth is that there is no amount of money that could make up for what you lost. The hope is that the compensation will make a meaningful difference in your lives now.

We negotiated against the backdrop of what a court might realistically award in damages. $10,000 is the most we could hope for through a negotiated process and could well be more than what a court would order at a trial. The only alternative to this settlement is a lengthy trial with an uncertain outcome, and many years of appeals. If we went to trial, many Day Scholars who have died would have been excluded.

The settlement also includes a $50 million Day Scholars Revitalization Fund set up for the benefit of the Day Scholars and their Children Survivor Class and the Descendant Class to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration. This Fund would not have been possible to achieve through a trial.

This is not the end of the fight for compensation for loss of language and culture caused by Residential Schools. The Band Class Claim is continuing to trial. In that claim, the Bands are claiming damages for the collective loss of language and culture caused by Residential Schools to your communities as a whole.

What if my school is not on the lists of schools for the time I attended?

This could mean a couple of things. First, it could mean that your school was actually a Federal Day School, not a Residential School. Students who attended a Federal Day School may be eligible for compensation through the McLean Federal Indian Day School Class Action Settlement. Find more information at https://indiandayschools.com/en/.

Second, it could mean that your school was not a Residential School that was set up and funded by the Canadian Government. This lawsuit is against Canada only and only covers institutions that were set up by the Federal Government under the Indian Act.

If you attended a Federal Indian Residential School as a Day Scholar (i.e., you went to the school during the day only, but did not sleep there), and you cannot find your school listed on Schedule E, please contact Class Counsel at dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca  or 1-888-222-6845.

About the Residential Schools Day Scholars proposed settlement

What is this class action about?

This class action seeks compensation for students who experienced cultural, linguistic, and psychological harm while attending Residential Schools during the day as Day Scholars, as well as their children, and certain Bands.

This class action and proposed settlement are not about sexual or serious physical abuse endured by students at Residential Schools. Claims regarding sexual or serious physical abuse endured by Day Scholars was dealt with through the Individual Assessment Process of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

This class action and proposed settlement are also not about Federal Day Schools. Claims regarding Federal Day Schools are part of the McLean Federal Indian Day School Class Action. You can find out more about the settlement in that class action at https://indiandayschools.com/en/.

How does this proposed settlement impact the Band Class?

The Band Class claim is not affected by this proposed settlement. The Band Class claim is continuing to move towards trial. To learn more about the Band Class process, visit the Band Class section of the website.

Where are we in the settlement process?

We are currently in the first notice period of the settlement process. During this stage, information is sent out to Class Members to provide more information about the proposed settlement and what it means for them, and how Class Members can participate in the upcoming settlement approval hearing, if they want to. The settlement approval hearing will begin on September 7, 2021.

Eligibility

I attended a school during the day and went home at night, but I’m not sure if it was a “Residential School” or an “Indian Day School.” What should I do?

Check the schools lists for both class actions to find out which settlement(s) you may be eligible for. You can find the lists of Residential Schools covered in the Day Scholar Class Action in Schedule E, and you can find the schools list for the Indian Day Schools settlement at indiandayschools.com.

If I attended a Federal Day School and/or a Residential School as a resident, can I be eligible for this proposed settlement?

It is possible that someone could be eligible for all three settlements: the Common Experience Payment of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, Federal Indian Day School settlement, and the Residential School Day Scholar settlement.  However, you cannot receive compensation for more than one settlement for the same school year (a school year is Sept 1 – August 31).  These examples may be helpful: 

  • A student attended an Indian Day School from September 1968 – December 1968.  They then attended a Residential School as a Day Scholar from January 1969 – July 1969.  In the same school year, this student attended both an Indian Day School and a Residential School as a Day Scholar.  However, this student would only be able to receive compensation from one of these settlements, because you can only receive compensation from one settlement per school year. 
  • A second student attended an Indian Day School from September 1968-July 1969.   They then attended a Residential School as a Day Scholar from September 1969 – July 1970.  This person attended two different types of schools in two different school years and could be eligible to receive compensation from both the Indian Day School Settlement and the Common Experience Payment of the Indian Residential School Day Scholar Settlement. 
  • A third student attended an Indian Day School from September 1968 – December 1968. They then attended a Residential School as a Day Scholar from January 1969 – July 1970.  This person attended both types of schools in the same school year (Sept 1,1968 – August 31, 1969), and also attended just a Residential School as a Day Scholar in a second school year (Sept 1969 – July 1970).  This person could potentially receive compensation from the Indian Day School settlement for the first school year, as well as compensation from the Common Payment of the Indian Residential School Day Scholar settlement for the second school year. 

We strongly encourage anyone who attended both an Indian Day School and a Residential School as a Day Scholar to discuss their situations with Class Counsel to get the best guidance on next steps.  

Residential School Day Scholar – Class Counsel (Waddell Phillips) Contact: dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca or 1-888-222-6845. 

Indian Day School – Class Counsel (Gowling WLG) Contact:  dayschools@gowlingwlg.com or 1844539-3815. 

How long would someone have had to attend a Residential School as a Day Scholar to qualify?

Any attendance at a Residential School as a Day Scholar during a school year makes you eligible for this proposed settlement, no matter how short.

If I went to a school in the North and lived in a hostel at night, am I eligible?

People who attended Day Schools in the North during the day and stayed at hostels at night are not eligible for this settlement, however they may be eligible for the Indian Day School Settlement. To learn more about the Indian Day School settlement and to see the list of schools it covers, please visit www.indiandayschools.com 

What if my loved one, a Day Scholar, has already passed away?

This settlement ensures that any Day Scholar who was alive on May 30, 2005, is included.

If your loved one passed away after that date, and attended one of the listed schools, you may be able to apply for compensation on behalf of your loved one’s estate. To learn more about how to apply on behalf of your loved one’s estate, please see Schedule D of the proposed settlement agreement.

Settlement Approval process

Can I opt out of the proposed settlement?

Survivor or Descendant Class Members are no longer able to opt out (be excluded) from this class action. The deadline to opt out of this class action was November 30, 2015.

What are Class Members giving up in this proposed settlement?

The proposed settlement agreement “releases” Canada from the claims of the Survivor and Descendant Class. This means that, if the settlement is approved, Survivors and Descendants can no longer sue Canada for any harm or damage due to their own, or their parents’, attendance as a Day Scholar at any Residential Schools. If you have questions about your rights as part of this proposed settlement agreement, please contact Class Counsel at dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca or 1-888-222-6845.

What if I disagree with the proposed settlement?

Class Members have the right to provide their opinions to the Federal Court judge about the proposed settlement before and/or during the settlement approval hearing. That includes “objecting” to the proposed settlement agreement if you disagree with it. Objecting to the proposed settlement will in no way impact your ability to receive compensation if the settlement ends up being approved.

 To learn more about how to tell the court what you think about the proposed agreement, please visit our Provide feedback to the court page.

When will the proposed settlement be approved?

The settlement approval hearing will begin on September 7, 2021, and the judge will make a decision some time after the hearing is concluded.   

The purpose of the hearing is for the Federal Court judge to determine if the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class Members. The judge will consider the entire settlement agreement all together as a complete package and is not able to pick and choose parts of the settlement to approve.

Can I participate in the settlement hearing?

Yes, Survivor and Descendant Class Members have the right to participate in the settlement approval hearing and share their opinion with the judge about whether they think the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of Survivors and Descendants.

If you are a Survivor or Descendant Class Member, there are two ways that you can participate: 1. Provide a written submission before the settlement hearing; 2. Tell the court what you think during the approval hearing. You can do either of these things, both, or neither – it is completely up to you.

To tell the court what you think in writing before the approval hearing, you must submit a written statement that includes:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Statement that you are a Class Member (e.g., “I am a member of the Survivor Class” or “I am a member of the Descendant Class”)
  • Whether you support or object to the proposed settlement agreement
  • (Optional) more information about why you support or object to the proposed settlement agreement

Submit your statement to Class Counsel before August 20, 2021. You can send it by email, fax, or mail.

To tell the court what you think during the settlement approval hearing, sign up by emailing Class Counsel at dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca before August 20, 2021. 

We are currently not sure if it will be possible to attend Court in person due to COVID-19. We will update this website with information about how to participate when we get closer to the settlement approval hearing.

In any event, we expect it will be possible to participate remotely by video conference. Reliable internet connection and a web camera and microphone will be required to speak at the settlement approval hearing if you are participating remotely. If a Class Member does not have access to reliable internet but still wants to speak, the lawyers and the court staff will try their best to accommodate the request.  

Your participation is completely optional. Participating in the approval process will not impact any Class Members’ ability to receive compensation.

If I write or speak against the proposed settlement, can I still receive compensation if it’s approved?

Yes, eligible Survivor Class Members who speak against the proposed settlement will still be entitled to receive a payment of $10,000.

Can I watch the settlement approval hearing?

Yes, you will be able to watch the settlement hearing. Because of COVID-19, it is not clear at this point whether the settlement approval hearing for this class action will take place in a courtroom or online. Either way, it will be possible for anyone who wants to watch the hearing online to do so. The link for the hearing will be posted at http://www.justicefordayscholars.com/ several days beforehand.

Will travel costs and accommodations be covered for those who want to participate in the settlement approval hearing in person?

If you require support or special accommodations to participate in the settlement approval process, please contact Class Counsel at dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca or 1-888-222-6845.

What happens if the judge approves the proposed settlement?

If the judge decides to approve the proposed settlement, then it will automatically apply to all Survivor and Descendant Class Members, even if they spoke out against it. This means that the Survivor and Descendant Class Members will be eligible for compensation under the settlement. It also means that all Survivor and Descendant Class Members will no longer have the right to sue Canada for the harms they experienced as a result of attending Residential Schools as Day Scholars. A new notice will go out to Class Members to let them know that the settlement was approved and give details about how and when to make a claim for compensation.

What happens if the judge does not approve the proposed settlement?

If the judge does not approve the settlement, then it will not take effect. That means that the Survivor and Descendant Class claims will go forward to trial along with the Band Class claim.

Why do we need the court to approve the settlement?

There are several special court rules that apply to class actions. One of these rules is that a judge must approve any proposed settlement in a class action as being fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class Members as a whole before it can take effect. 

Can the court put any conditions on the approval?

No, the judge is not able to put conditions on the approval of the proposed settlement. If the judge approves the settlement as being fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of Class Members as a whole, it will take effect as it is currently outlined.

How are the lawyers getting paid?

Canada will pay Class Counsel’s legal fees and expenses directly. These fees and expenses are separate from the settlement benefits and will not lower or affect the dollar amount that Day Scholars receive, or that the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund receives, in any way.

As part of the settlement approval hearing, Class Counsel will ask for their fees and expenses to be approved. The judge’s decision about legal fees will be completely separate from the decision about whether to approve the settlement.

Compensation

What is the compensation available in the proposed settlement?

There are two types of compensation in the proposed settlement: direct compensation for each Survivor Class Member, as well as compensation to create the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund for the benefit of both the Survivor and the Descendant Classes.

Individual compensation for each Survivor Class Member is $10,000. There is no limit to how many people will be able to apply. All approved Claimants are eligible for $10,000, regardless of how long the Survivor Class Member was a Day Scholar.

The settlement includes all Day Scholars who were alive as of May 30, 2005. Certain family members of Day Scholars who have died after May 30, 2005, or their estates are eligible to claim the $10,000 in compensation.

The settlement also includes $50 million for the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund used to support and benefit Survivor and Descendant Class Members through healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration. The Day Scholars Revitalization Fund will be managed by a not-for-profit society (the Society) that is independent of Canada. Day Scholars and their children will be able to apply for grants to access the money in the Society. More information can be found in Schedule F.

What benefits does the Descendant Class receive in the Settlement?

A key part of the settlement is the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund – a $50 million fund set up for the benefit of the Survivor Class and the Descendant Class. The funds will be used to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration, and will be managed by a not-for-profit society that is independent of Canada.

Descendant Classes (i.e., the children of Day Scholars) will be able to apply to access the funding within the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund.

Why $10,000? Why not more?

The goal was to ensure that all Day Scholars received meaningful compensation in their lifetimes for the loss of language and culture they suffered as a result of attendance at Residential Schools as a Day Scholar. The settlement is about making sure no one is left behind. The truth is that there is no amount of money that could make up for what you lost. The hope is that the compensation will make a meaningful difference in your lives now.

We negotiated against the backdrop of what a court might realistically award in damages. $10,000 is the most we could hope for through a negotiated process and could well be more than what a court would order at a trial. The only alternative to this settlement is a lengthy trial with an uncertain outcome, and many years of appeals. If we went to trial, many Day Scholars who have died would have been excluded.

The settlement also includes a $50 million Day Scholars Revitalization Fund set up for the benefit of the Day Scholars and their Children Survivor Class and the Descendant Class to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration. This Fund would not have been possible to achieve through a trial.

This is not the end of the fight for compensation for loss of language and culture caused by Residential Schools. The Band Class Claim is continuing to trial. In that claim, the Bands are claiming damages for the collective loss of language and culture caused by Residential Schools to your communities as a whole.

What is the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund?
As part of the proposed settlement, $50 million will be used to establish the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund, which will be managed by the Day Scholars Revitalization Society. The purpose of the Fund will be to support Day Scholars and their children in healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration activities and programs. Day Scholars and their children will be able to apply to access money for activities related to these purposes. More information can be found in Schedule F.
How will the Day Scholars Revitalization Society be managed?
The Day Scholars Revitalization Society will have between 5 and 11 directors who have yet to be selected. The Directors will be guided by an Advisory Board made up of individuals appointed by the Directors, who provide regional representation, understanding and knowledge of the loss and revitalization of Indigenous languages, cultures, wellness, and heritage. This Advisory Board will advise the Directors on all activities of the Society as well as determining successful grant applications. More information can be found in Schedule F.
When can I apply for compensation?

You cannot apply for compensation yet. All settlements in class actions must be approved by the Court before they can take effect. The next step in this process is a settlement approval hearing, which will start on September 7, 2021. If the judge decides to approve the proposed settlement after the court hearing, information regarding how to apply for compensation and when you can expect to receive it will be available on this website. If the settlement is approved, we are optimistic that you will be able to apply for compensation by the end of 2021.

If the settlement is approved, how long will people have to apply for compensation?
The proposed settlement agreement states that the claims deadline will be 21 months from the date that the claims process opens.
Can I apply for advance payments?

No, there will not be any advance payments. If the proposed settlement is approved by the court, the process is designed to be quick in order to get people their full payment as soon as possible.

Claims Process

What will be involved in the application process?

The claims process was designed to be as simple as possible to minimize the burden on all Survivor Class Members. Survivor Class Members who make a claim do not need to provide any information regarding their experiences at Residential Schools, or provide any supporting documents. Instead, claimants only need to fill out a simple form.

In most cases where a Survivor Class Member has attended at least one Residential School known to have Day Scholars, they will only need to fill out a form identifying which Residential School they attended, and for what years. In some cases, where a Survivor Class Member has only attended a Residential School not known to have Day Scholars, Claimants will be required to provide a formal sworn statement confirming that they were a Day Scholar and explaining where they lived when they attended the Residential School as a Day Scholar. More detailed information regarding the Claims Process can be found in Schedule C.

For cases where people are applying on behalf of a loved one who has died after May 30, 2005, they must complete a claim form, as well as an Estate claim form. More information regarding the Estate Claims Process can be found in Schedule D.

In all cases, Claimants are required to submit the brief Claim Form to a Claims Administrator before the deadline (21 months after the Claims Process opens). Details on the Claims Process can be found in Schedule C or in Schedule D for Estate Claims.

Overall, the process will be easy to access, quick, user-friendly, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed. The decision-makers will also assume that claimants are acting honestly and in good faith. The decision-makers will draw all reasonable and favourable inferences that can be made in favour of a Claimant.

What documents do I need to support my claim?

In most cases, no supporting documentation will be required. You will only need to complete the claim form (and the Estate Claim form, if appropriate). In some cases, if you attended a Residential School not known to have Day Scholars, you will need to provide a simple, sworn statement. The statement must confirm that you were a Day Scholar and state where you lived while you were attending the Residential School as a Day Scholar. No further documentation will be required to make a claim, beyond this sworn statement.

Details on the claims process for Day Scholars can be found in Schedule C on the website.

Where can I get the claim form for this settlement?

The claims form is not available yet. The claim form will be posted on this site as soon as claims process opens.

What documents are required for those making claims on behalf of their loved ones?

Those applying on behalf of a loved one’s estate will need to provide some additional information. The information required depends on whether the claim is being brought by a formal estate executor or administrator, or by the heirs directly. Details about the Estate Claims Process can be found in Schedule D.

Why are there two lists of schools?

There are two lists of schools included in this proposed settlement to ensure that it is as comprehensive as possible, and no Day Scholar is left out. 

List 1 includes Residential Schools confirmed to have Day Scholars. List 2 includes Residential Schools where there may have been Day Scholars. We encourage Day Scholars and those potentially making claims on behalf of estates to check both lists to see if they are eligible for this proposed settlement. Both lists can be found in Schedule E. No Day Scholar who attended a Federal Indian Residential School should have been left out of this settlement. If you are a Day Scholar who attended a Federal Indian Residential School during the day only, but slept somewhere else at night, and your school is not on Schedule E, please contact Class Counsel at dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca  or 1-888-222-6845.

What if my school is not on the lists of schools for the time I attended?

This could mean a couple things. First, it could mean that your school was actually a Federal Day School, not a Residential School. Students who attended a Federal Day School may be eligible for compensation through the McLean Federal Indian Day School Class Action Settlement. For more information, visit https://indiandayschools.com/en/.

Second, it could mean that your school was not a Residential School that was set up and funded by the Canadian Government. This lawsuit is against Canada only, and only covers institutions that were set up by the Federal Government under the Indian Act.

If you attended a Federal Indian Residential School as a Day Scholar (i.e., you went to the school during the day only, but did not sleep there), and you cannot find your school listed on Schedule E, please contact Class Counsel at dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca  or 1-888-222-6845.

Resources and Support

What supports are available to Class Members as they go through this process?

Emotional and mental health counselling and crisis support is available to Class Members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through:

Who should I talk to if I have questions about the proposed settlement agreement?

If you have questions about this proposed settlement agreement or about the class action in general, you can contact Class Counsel (the lawyers for the Class Members) at no charge.

Phone: 1-888-222-6845 (toll-free)

Fax: 416-477-1657

Email: dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca 

Mailing Address:
Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation
Att’n: Day Scholars Class Action
36 Toronto Street, Suite 1120
Toronto, ON M5C 2C5

Who are the lawyers representing Class Members?
The lawyers representing Class Members are called Class Counsel. Class Counsel for this class action are John Kingman Phillips, Peter R. Grant, Diane Soroka, W. Cory Wanless, and Tina Q. Yang.

Class Members are able to speak to Class Counsel about the proposed settlement at no charge. You can contact them at dayscholars@waddellphillips.ca   or 1-888-222-6845.