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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Court before they can take effect.

The settlement approval hearing was heard on September 7 and 8, 2021, in Vancouver. The judge is now considering the written and oral submissions from lawyers from the Class and from Canada, as well as oral and written statements made by Class Members. If the judge decides to approve the proposed settlement, 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?

Day The claims process was designed to be as simple as possible to minimize the burden on all Day Scholars and their Descendants. Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Descendants 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 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 [email protected] 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 Band Class.

Where are we in the settlement process?

We are currently in the settlement approval process.

During this stage, Class Members had the opportunity to participate in the approval process and share their opinions about the proposed agreement directly with the court before a decision is finalized.

The settlement approval hearing was heard on September 7 and 8 in Vancouver. The judge is now considering the written and oral submissions from lawyers from the Class and from Canada, as well as oral and written statements made by Class Members, and will decide whether to approve the settlement. 

In making a decision, the test that the judge will apply is whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Day Scholar Survivor Class and Descendant Class as a whole. The judge will consider the entire settlement agreement as a complete package, and is not able to pick and choose which parts of the settlement to approve.  It may take the judge weeks or even months to make a decision. An update will be provided as soon as the judge makes a decision. 

How many Day Scholars does this proposed settlement affect?

It is estimated that 12,000-20,000 Day Scholars Survivors were alive as of May 30, 2005. If the settlement is approved, this group of people would be eligible for an individual payment of $10,000, either directly or through their estates/heirs in the case of deceased Day Scholars. Additionally, this settlement includes Descendants (children) of Day Scholars, which greatly increases the overall number of individuals impacted by the proposed settlement. 

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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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: [email protected] or 1-888-222-6845. 

Indian Day School – Class Counsel (Gowling WLG) Contact:  [email protected] 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 settlement agreement.

Settlement Approval process

Can I opt out of the proposed settlement?

Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant Class Members giving up in this proposed settlement?

The proposed settlement agreement “releases” Canada from the claims of the Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant Class. This means that, if the settlement is approved, Day Scholars and their 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 settlement agreement, please contact Class Counsel at [email protected] or 1-888-222-6845.

When will the proposed settlement be approved?

The settlement approval hearing was heard on September 7 and 8 in Vancouver. The judge is now considering the written and oral submissions from lawyers from the Class and from Canada, as well as oral and written statements made by Class Members, and will decide whether to approve the settlement. 

In making a decision, the test that the judge will apply is whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Day Scholar Survivor Class and Descendant Class as a whole. The judge will consider the entire settlement agreement as a complete package, and is not able to pick and choose which parts of the settlement to approve.  It may take the judge weeks or even months to make a decision. An update will be provided as soon as the judge makes a decision. 

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

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

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 Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant Class Members, even if they spoke out against it. This means that the Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant Class Members will be eligible for compensation under the settlement. It also means that those individuals 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 Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant 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 Survivor and Descendant Classes 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 the Survivor and Descendant Class 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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholars 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 Descendants 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 Settlement Approval Hearing has now concluded, and the next step in this process is the judge’s decision on whether to approve the settlement.

In making a decision, the test that the judge will apply is whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Day Scholar Survivor Class and Descendant Class as a whole. The judge will consider the entire settlement agreement as a complete package, and is not able to pick and choose which parts of the settlement to approve.  It may take the judge weeks or even months to make a decision.

An update will be provided as soon as the judge makes a decision.

If the settlement is approved, how long will people have to apply for compensation?

The 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 Day Scholars and their Descendants. Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Day Scholar 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 Residential School should have been left out of this settlement. If you are a Day Scholar who attended a Federal 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 [email protected]  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  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 [email protected]  or 1-888-222-6845.

Where do I get more information about the school my parent attended and whether they are a Day Scholar?

To find out if your parent, or loved one, was a Day Scholar there are a few steps you can take to get more information.

Speak with members of your family and the community where your parent grew up to see if anyone knows where they went to school.  The more information you have to start, the easier it will be to get further information from the official sources below.

Contact Crown-Indigenous Relations and Norther Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) at [email protected] or 1-800-567-9604 to see if they have access to your parent or loved one’s school records.

Contact your provincial education department to see if they have access to your parent or loved one’s entire history of school records, including years attending a federally-run school. Please note that school records for years attending a provincial school alone will not be eligible for this class action.

Contact the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) and fill out a form through their online inquiry process at www.nctr.ca/records/access-your-records/survivor-access/, alternatively you can call 1-855-415-4534.  For this, you will require either the consent of your parent or loved one, or a death certificate if your parent or loved one is deceased.

We recommend you reach out to each of these government departments today as the time required for the inquiry process may vary by department.

Resources and Support

What supports are available to Day Scholars and Descendants as they go through this process?

Emotional and mental health counselling and crisis support is available to Survivor and Descendant 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 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: [email protected]

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, and W. Cory Wanless.

Survivor and Descendant Class Members are able to speak to Class Counsel about the proposed settlement at no charge. You can contact them at [email protected]  or 1-888-222-6845.