FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Day Scholars Class Action

Top questions

Who is this settlement for?

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

Descendant Class Members (the natural or adopted children of eligible Day Scholars) are also included in this settlement. 

This lawsuit is against Canada only and only covers institutions that were set up by the Federal Government under the Indian Act. 

For a list of Federal Residential Schools where there were, or might have been, Day Scholars, please see Schedule E.

 

What is the compensation available in the settlement?

There are two types of compensation in the 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 $10,000regardless of how long the Class Member was a Day Scholar. There is no limit to how many people will be able to apply.

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.

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?

We expect the claims process to open by the end of 2021. The claims process cannot start until the appeal period for the judge’s decision passes. If no notice to appeal or notice for leave to appeal is filed during the appeal period, the claims process will commence. Class Members will have 21 months from the date the claims process begins to apply for compensation. Details regarding the claims process, including claims form, will be posted on the website as soon as the claims process is open. 

Regular updates will be provided to Class Members on the website and the Justice for Day Scholars and Facebook page (@JusticeforDayScholars).

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. Survivor Class Members who make a claim do not need to provide any information regarding their experiences at Federal 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 Federal Residential School known to have Day Scholars, they will only need to fill out a form identifying which Federal Residential School they attended, and for which years. In some cases, where a Day Scholar Survivor Class Member has only attended a Federal 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 Federal Residential School as a Day Scholar. More detailed information regarding the Claims Process can be found in Schedule C.

When people are applying on behalf of a loved one who has died after May 30, 2005, they must complete 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 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. The process is designed to be quick and will get people their full payment as soon as possible.

Why $10,000?

The parties negotiated this amount with the objective of securing a fair and comprehensive settlement for the claims of the Survivor Class and Descendant Class, and to promote truth, healing, education, commemoration, and reconciliation.

The settlement also includes a $50 million Day Scholars Revitalization Fund set up for the benefit of Day Scholars and their children to support healing, wellness, education, language, culture, heritage, and commemoration. 

This is not the end of the fight for compensation for loss of language and culture caused by Federal 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 Federal Residential Schools to 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 Federal 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 Federal Residential Schools Day Scholars settlement

What is this class action about?

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

This class action and settlement are not about sexual or serious physical abuse endured by students at Federal 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 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 settlement impact the Band Class?

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

What's happening now with the settlement process?

On September 24, 2021, Justice McDonald of the Federal Court approved the settlement agreement and determined that it is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of Survivor and Descendant Class Members. While the settlement has been approved, it is not yet possible to submit a claim.

The settlement approval is subject to an “appeal period”. Under the Federal Courts Act and the Federal Courts Rules, there is a 30-day period in which the parties can appeal the judge’s decision, followed by a 30-day period in which class members can seek leave of the court to appeal. Once the appeal period closes, we will move as quickly as possible to open the claims process.

How many Day Scholars does this settlement affect?

It is estimated that 12,000-20,000 Day Scholars Survivors were alive as of May 30, 2005. 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, Descendants (children) of Day Scholars, may be eligible to benefit from the Day Scholars Revitalization Fund, which greatly increases the overall number of individuals impacted by the 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 Federal 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 Federal Residential School as a resident, can I be eligible for this 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 Federal 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 Federal 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 Federal 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 Federal 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 Federal 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 Federal 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 Federal Residential School as a Day Scholar to discuss their situations with Class Counsel to get the best guidance on next steps.  

Federal 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 1-844-539-3815. 

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

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

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

People who attended Day Schools 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 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 settlement?

The settlement agreement “releases” Canada from the claims of the Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant Class. This means that 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 Federal 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.

What if I disagree with the settlement?

Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant Class Members were given the opportunity to tell the court what they think about the settlement in writing or during the approval hearing, which took place on September 7 and 8th.

Is there a possibility the judge's decision could be appealed?

After considering the proposed settlement agreement in the Federal Residential Schools Day Scholars class action (Gottfriedson v. Canada), Justice McDonald of the Federal Court has approved the settlement. This means that the settlement will apply to all Day Scholar Survivor and Descendant Class Members who have not opted out, even if they objected to the settlement.  

Following the judge’s decision to approve the settlement, there is a 30 day appeal period during which the representative parties (the Representative Plaintiffs and Canada) can appeal the decision, followed by a 30 day period in which class members can bring a motion for leave to appeal the decision.

If no appeals or motions for leave to appeal are brought forward, the settlement will be final, and the claims process will open shortly thereafter. If a notice to appeal or notice for leave to appeal is filed, this will impact when the claims process can begin.

We encourage people to check the website and Justice for Day Scholars Facebook page (@JusticeforDayScholars) regularly for the most up-to-date information.

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.

Compensation

What is the compensation available in the settlement?

There are two types of compensation in the 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 regardless of how long the Class Member was a Day Scholar. There is no limit to how many people will be able to apply.

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.

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 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 Survivor Class Members start applying for the individual $10,000 Day Scholars Compensation Payment?

We expect the claims process to open by the end of 2021. The claims process cannot start until the appeal period for the judge’s decision passes. If no notice to appeal or notice for leave to appeal is filed during the appeal period, the claims process will commence. Class Members will have 21 months from the date the claims process begins to apply for compensation. Details regarding the claims process, including claims form, will be posted on the website as soon as the claims process is open. 

Regular updates will be provided to Class Members on the website and the Justice for Day Scholars and Facebook page (@JusticeforDayScholars).

 

Can I apply for advance payments?

No, there will not be any advance payments. 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 Federal 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 Federal Residential School known to have Day Scholars, they will only need to fill out a form identifying which Federal Residential School they attended, and for what years. In some cases, where a Day Scholar Survivor Class Member has only attended a Federal 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 Federal 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 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 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. In some cases, if you attended a Federal 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 Federal Residential School as a Day Scholar. No further documentation will be required to make a claim, beyond this sworn statement.

For Estate Claims, an Estate Claims Form is required, and the claimant may need to provide supporting documents.  

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 settlement to ensure that it is as comprehensive as possible, and no Day Scholar is left out.

List 1 includes Federal Residential Schools confirmed to have Day Scholars. List 2 includes Federal 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 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 Federal 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 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.