August 20, 2019
Kamloops, BC – Day Scholars are reacting to yesterday’s news about the court approval of Canada’s Indian Day Schools class-action settlement agreement by questioning why Canada continues to refuse to resolve a similar class action lawsuit brought on behalf of Day Scholars who attended Indian Residential Schools. “Day Scholars” are individuals who attended a federally owned and operated Residential School during the day but returned home at night. Day Scholars suffered many of the same grave harms and abuses as other students at Residential Schools, including the loss of language and culture.
Day Scholars are practically the only groups who suffered the evils of Canada’s Residential School policy who have yet to be compensated for the harms that they suffered. The Day Scholars seek only compensation based on the exact same formula the that other Residential School survivors received.
This is particularly perplexing as the Day Scholars who attended the Mohawk Institute Residential School received compensation under the Indian Residential School Settlement, but Day Scholars who attended other residential schools were left out.
“Justin Trudeau talks a lot of good talk about reconciliation, but actions speak louder than words,” said Chief Rosanne Casimir, T’kemlu’ps te Secwepemc. “There can be no reconciliation until Canada accounts for the wrongs that it did to the Day Scholars. As Justice Harrington, said, ‘I hope Canada will not simply continue to talk the talk, but will now walk the walk.’ ”
“I cannot understand why Day Scholars continue to be left out,” said, Chief Warren Paul, Sechelt First Nation. “We suffered just like other students at Residential Schools and Day Schools. What will it take to get Canada to treat us fairly?”
“Day Scholars are literally dying, and meanwhile Canada is taking a hardball litigation strategy that will take years and will cost both the Canadian public and the Day Scholars millions”, said Doctor Matthew Coon Come. “Why won’t Canada simply settle on the same terms as the other victims of Residential Schools before one more Day Scholar dies?”
“I find it shocking that in 2019 Canada still refuses to come to a fair and reasonable resolution with Day Scholars for harms suffered by them as a result of residential schools. I find it shocking that after six and a half years of litigation and a year and a half of negotiations, Canada has yet to put a meaningful offer on the table to resolve this historic wrong,” said Doctor Mathew Coon Come.