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The Indian Boarding Homes Class Action Frequently Asked Questions
The Indian boarding home class action lawsuit has been making the news in recent times. In our last post, we discussed at length the history of the Indian boarding home program, the ordeals the victims have gone through, what the lawsuit entails, when it was filed, and the resolution. In this post, we will answer some of the frequently asked questions related to this significant legal action.
What is the class action lawsuit about?
The Indian Boarding Homes Class Action is a legal case brought by Indigenous individuals who were separated from their families and communities and placed in boarding homes while attending public schools in Canada from 1951 to 1992. This legal action claims that the Canadian government’s establishment and operation of the Indian Boarding Home Program fostered a setting conducive to mistreatment, harassment, and other harmful experiences.
Which class members does the lawsuit recognize?
The lawsuit caters to two categories of people. Individuals were placed in private homes by the Canadian government between September 1, 1951, and June 30, 1992. Family members who were deprived of the support, care, or companionship they would typically receive from an individual placed in private homes.
What’s the federal court resolution on the lawsuit?
An agreement has been reached between the class members and the Canadian government on how the affected individuals will be compensated. The proposed settlement is under two categories: the first category is a single payment that will paid to every eligible primary class member. The second compensation category will be determined by the severity of the harm caused by the program to individual primary class members. An eligible class member may apply for the first and second categories but they can't receive more than one payment from each category
How can I know if I am eligible for the compensation?
At least, you will be eligible for compensation under the first category If you were placed in private homes by the Canadian government. Also, you have to be alive on July 24, 2016, to be eligible for compensation. If you are a family member of a victim of the program and you want to claim compensation, you will not be able to receive the compensation directly, instead, your claim will be recognized and addressed by the indirect compensation available through the Foundation’s reconciliation projects.
How will I receive my compensation?
It is worth noting that as of now, the Federal Court still has not approved the settlement. If the federal court does approve it and you want to claim your compensation, you will need to submit an application form for each category of compensation. That is, if you apply for the Category 1 compensation, you will be paid the mandatory $10,000. If, however, you intend to apply for the category 2 compensation, you will have to wait for your claim to be approved before you receive a payment based on the level of harm you suffered while in the private home.
Will I be the one to pay the class action lawyers?
No! The Canadian government is the one to compensate the lawyers for their efforts in representing the entire class. The approved amount will be deemed fair and reasonable, and this cost will not be borne by class members, nor will it reduce any payments owed to class members.
I want to file my own lawsuit, how do I exclude myself from the class action?
If you don't wish to receive compensation as part of the settlement and want to retain your right to file your lawsuit related to your involvement in the Boarding Homes Program, then you have to fill and submit an “Opt Out” form within 60 days (after the settlement agreement has been approved by the Federal Court)