Trigger warning: readers may be triggered by the recount of Indian Day Schools. To access a 24-hour National Crisis Line, call: 1-866-925-4419. Community Assistance Program (CAP) can be accessed for citizens of the Anishinabek Nation: 1-800-663-1142
ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE – The Federal Indian Day School Class Action Settlement closed its application process on July 13, 2022. The Anishinabek Nation expresses disappointment in this decision and the lack of response regarding requests for amendments to both the settlement and claims processes.
Survivors, families, and leadership have been continuously requesting an extension of the deadline for months. In addition, there has been advocacy on many levels for improvements including necessary amendments to ease the process and implementation of procedural review.
Many applicants have had challenging experiences with the claims and application process regarding accessibility, communication and information errors at the administration level, lack of progressive disclosure, and claims being dropped to lower levels resulting in less compensation. While this is not an exhaustive list, many issues identified could have been resolved by implementing recommended amendments and addressing the concerns of Survivors and families.
“With the deadline now past, we acknowledge this as a failure of the Class Council and the Federal Government to address the concerns of the thousands of Survivors and their families during this settlement process. They not only deserved more time, but a more fair and transparent process overall, which would have alleviated some stress and trauma citizens have been experiencing,” states Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe.
Though the claims administrator has announced a six-month extension of the deadline, it was not in response to collective advocacy efforts.
“We find it unacceptable that this minimal effort puts the responsibility onto the Survivors and applicants to go through an extra layer of bureaucracy through this additional approval and waiting period that precedes the actual claims process,” states Grand Council Chief Niganobe. “Not only does this lengthen the waiting time for approval, it also creates unnecessary trauma and anxiety for Survivors and families who will now have to wait longer for their claim(s).”
The Anishinabek Nation will continue to support its member First Nations and citizens with the Reconsideration Forms, as well as its advocacy for justice for all Survivors, their families, and communities.
“This process has been an injustice to Survivors of Indian Day Schools. Many have not received the compensation that they are entitled to and were further traumatized by this poorly planned process,” states Lake Huron Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Travis Boissoneau. “Our many calls for change have gone ignored and I now hope that Canada and the Class Council will take this opportunity to engage with Survivors and communities and work to prevent future injustices.”
The Anishinabek Nation calls on all occupants of this land to commit to learning about Indian Day Schools, and come together to support Survivors, their families, and communities to help strengthen the Nation.
- Anishinabek Nation Education Resources
- Anishinabek Nation Resilience Speaker Series
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 member First Nations across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 citizens. The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.