Canada and Gottfriedson plaintiffs reach agreement to resolve Band class litigation outside the court

News release

September 21, 2022 — Ottawa, Ontario —  Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The mistreatment of Indigenous children is a tragic and shameful part of Canada’s story, whose impacts are still being felt today. The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation and healing for communities affected by Indian Residential Schools.

Yesterday, Canada and the Gottfriedson Band Class plaintiffs advised the Federal Court that the parties had reached an agreement to resolve the litigation. The Federal Court has adjourned the trial to allow the parties to complete negotiations to finalize the settlement agreement. More information will be provided as the agreement is finalized.

The final settlement agreement will need to be approved by the Federal Court, which will determine if the terms of the final settlement agreement are fair, reasonable and in the best interest of all class members.

This settlement builds on the 2021 Gottfriedson Day Scholars settlement. The Day Scholars settlement provides individual compensation to Day Scholars who attended an Indian Residential School but did not reside at the institution. The settlement also created the Day Scholars Revitalization Society to fund healing, wellness, education, heritage, language, culture and commemoration activities for Day Scholars and their Descendants. In 2021, to ensure compensation could be received by an aging class of Survivors in their lifetime, Canada and the plaintiffs agreed to separate the Band class and focus on the Survivor and Descendant classes. The Band class trial was to move forward this month before being adjourned by the Court to allow the parties to negotiate the final settlement.

The Government of Canada will continue to work collaboratively with the Band class to finalize the settlement agreement and seek approval from the Federal Court.

Canada is deeply committed to addressing past wrongs, advancing reconciliation, and renewing the relationship with Indigenous Peoples across Canada.

Quotes

“Canada is committed to reaching a fair and reasonable settlement that is in the best interests of the Band members affected by Residential Schools. This agreement is an important step in this process.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The National Residential School Crisis Line offers emotional support and crisis referral services for residential school Survivors and their families. Call the toll-free crisis line at 1-866-925-4419. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • The Hope for Wellness Help Line also offers support to all Indigenous Peoples. Counsellors are available by phone or online chat. This service is available in English and French, and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Call the toll-free help line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca.

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Renelle Arsenault
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
renelle.arsenault@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

Media Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@sac-isc.gc.cas

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