Final agreement reached to resolve Percival class action
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June 29, 2023 — Ottawa, ON — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and court-appointed representative plaintiffs Reginald Percival and Kenneth Weistche announced that a proposed settlement agreement has been reached in the Federal Indian Boarding Homes (Percival) class action.
Beginning in the 1950s, approximately 40,000 Indigenous children were part of boarding home placements with private families for the purpose of attending school. A significant number of these placements were overseen by the federal government until control of program delivery was slowly devolved to Indigenous governing bodies. This proposed settlement agreement marks a significant advancement for thousands of Indigenous children and youth who suffered cultural loss and abuse while placed in a boarding home between approximately 1951 until at least 1992. The Indian Boarding Home Program was a program in which the Government of Canada placed children from First Nations communities and Inuit villages in other communities (usually non-Indigenous) to stay with private families for their education.
With this settlement agreement, Canada agrees to provide individual compensation for having been placed in a boarding home and compensation for incidents of physical and sexual or other abuse, with an investment of $50 million to support commemoration, healing, language and culture.
From now until August 25, 2023, class members will have an opportunity to review the proposed settlement agreement and provide their comments to the Federal Court.
The parties will seek approval of the proposed settlement from the Federal Court from September 12 to 14, 2023. The Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of the class. Once approved by the Court, compensation and other benefits will be available to eligible class members.
The Government of Canada will continue to work with Survivors to address past harms, as it is at the heart of reconciliation, and essential to renewing and building relationships with Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians.
"I was taken from my family and community in 1968 when I was 13 years old. The impact on me, and on other kids like me, was devastating. I have spent decades since then, working to heal, to help others, and to explain to the broader community what happened. It has been a long journey but I am gratified by the steps we are now taking, as a country, to acknowledge past wrongs and to move forward together."
Court-appointed representative plaintiff
"I was in a boarding home after I was in Indian residential school. This has always been a missing part of the process. It is like a cut with a bandage, but half the cut is not covered, and that half is the boarding home experience. We never dealt with the whole experience. I am really pleased that we reached this agreement."
Court-appointed representative plaintiff for the Quebec sub-class
"We are determined to heed the words of Survivors who suffered abuse while residing in boarding homes for which the Government of Canada was responsible. To truly advance reconciliation, we must work, as we have in this case, to address the cultural loss and abuse experienced in these institutions."
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
Key elements of the settlement agreement include:
- Individual compensation of $10,000 to recognize the losses caused by placement in a boarding home by Canada for the purpose of attending school. Placements from September 1, 1951, to June 30, 1992, will automatically be included, with provisions made for those placed by the federal government after that date.
- Additional individual compensation, ranging from $10,000 to $200,000, for incidents of physical and sexual or other abuse while residing in a boarding home placement, based on severity of the abuses suffered;
- $50 million to be invested to support the commemoration, healing, language, and culture;
- Funding to support class members who require assistance from legal counsel and other forms of support on their abuse claims.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
CIRNAC Media Relations:
Quebec Counsel for the Quebec Sub Class:
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