The Globe and Mail has reported that the largest abuse claims settlement in history is likely to pass it’s final hurdle today. Upwards of 80,000 former students of Church run Indian Residential schools are set to receive payments for sexual abuse, physical abuse and psychological abuse that they suffered in the schools.
Today is the deadline for former students to “opt out” of the class action settlement. If more than 5000 students drop out of the settlement, the court approval order considers the deal null and void. As of today, less than a hundred former students across the country have opted out and it is expected that the deal will be finalized today.
The class action settlement will pay out two billion dollars in compensation to students who were forced to attend the schools.
In addition, former students who were seriously physically abused, sexually abused or who suffered serious psychological effects from attending the schools will be entitled to apply for additional payments of up to $250,000.00 each. It is expected that these payments will total an additional one billion to two billion dollars.
I am proud to have represented hundreds of survivors of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential Schools over the last dozen years. I wrote about the history of the claims negotiations here.
When the opt out deadline passes the Shubenacadie survivors, and 80,000 other former residential schools students, will have taken the final step towards receiving a recognition of the harm that they suffered as a result of Canada’s attempt at cultural assimilation to eliminate native people.
It’s about time.