FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10th, 2018
Kamloops, BC – Day Scholars reacted to news that Canada has entered into a settlement agreement regarding the Indian Day Schools class-action lawsuit by questioning why Canada has not yet resolved 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 Indian Residential School during the day but returned home at night. Day Scholars suffered many of the same harms and abuses as other students at Residential Schools.
“We are happy that the pain and suffering our brothers and sisters endured in Day Schools is being recognized and compensated. But I can’t help but feel angry and frustrated that once again we are being left behind,” said Jo-Anne Gottfriedson, the Tk’emlùps Day Scholar coordinator and Day Scholar Executive Committee Chair. “I am optimistic that we will include the excluded and settle a fair and just settlement for those day scholars who suffered as a result of residential schools.”
Councilor Selina August, Sechelt First Nation stated “Too many Day Scholars have already died waiting for justice. When will it be our turn? When will the horrific wrongs done to us by Canada’s shameful Residential School policy be recognized and made right?”
Day Scholars are one of the few remaining groups who suffered the evils of Canada’s Residential School policy who have yet to receive proper compensation. The Day Scholars’ class action was certified by the Federal Court in 2015, and yet Canada continues to delay reaching a fair resolution of the claim.
Lawyers for Day Scholars are in active negotiations with Canada with the goal of reaching a positive settlement of the class action. The next negotiation session is scheduled for January 2019.
“Enough is enough. We urge the government of Canada to come to the table in the spirit of reconciliation with a fair offer. This should happen now, before one more Day Scholar dies without having received justice,” said Doctor Matthew Coon Come, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
TteS-SFN-JBC Day Scholar Executive Chair