Notice (survivor and descendent classes)

The Government of Canada is posting the residential school day scholars class action notices on its departmental website as per court order. Please note that the Class action is being administered by Peter Grant and Associates.

To Anyone Who Attended an Indian Residential School or is the Child of Someone Who Did

A Class Action Lawsuit May Affect Your Rights.

A court authorized this notice. You are not being sued.

  • You could be affected by a class action lawsuit involving the Kamloops and Sechelt Indian Residential Schools and additional Indian Residential Schools (the "Schools") (see attached list at Appendix 'A’ for the additional Schools).
  • A Court has approved the lawsuit as a class action that includes anyone who attended at any Indian Residential School, for any times they attended as a "Day Scholar" (i.e. non-resident student), as well as their children and potentially the bands within communities that contained a Residential School. The Plaintiffs in the class action are suing the Government of Canada ("Canada") claiming that it is responsible for damages arising from attendance at the Schools. Attached to this Notice is a copy of the June 18, 2015 Court Order of Justice Harrington. This Order, and all other decisions related to this lawsuit can also be found on the Federal court website.
  • This claim is different from the Residential Schools Class Action Settlement entered into by Canada. In that settlement, only those who lived at an Indian Residential School were compensated for the fact of having gone to the Schools. This claim is for compensation relating to time spent attending, but not living in, the Schools.
  • The Court has not decided whether Canada did anything unlawful, and the case is currently planned to go to a trial. There is no money available now and no guarantee there will be. However, your rights are affected, and you have a choice to make now.
YOUR OPTIONS AT THIS STAGE
Do Nothing Stay in this lawsuit. Await the outcome. Share in possible money and benefits. Give up certain rights.

By doing nothing, you keep the possibility of getting money or other benefits that may come from a trial or settlement. But, you give up any rights to sue Canada, or any religious organizations, on your own about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
Remove Yourself
(Opt Out)
Get out of this lawsuit. Get no money or benefits from it. Keep rights.

If you ask to be removed (opt out) and money or benefits are later awarded, you won’t share in that money or benefits. But, you keep any rights to sue Canada, or any religious organization, on your own about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
  • Lawyers must prove the claims against Canada at a trial. If money or benefits are obtained you will be notified about how to ask for a share.
  • Your options are explained in this notice. To be removed, you must act by November 30, 2015.

Questions? Call toll-free 1-844-558-5538 or visit Justice for Day Scholars.

What this Notice Contains


Background Information

The Purpose of this Notice:

This lawsuit has been "certified" as a Class Action. This means that the lawsuit meets the requirements for class actions and may proceed to trial. If you are included in the Class, you may have legal rights and options before the Court decides whether the claims being made against Canada on your behalf are correct. This notice explains all of these things.

The Honourable Justice Harrington, together with Prothonotary Lafrenière of the Federal Court, is currently overseeing this case. The case is known as Gottfriedson v. The Attorney General of Canada, Court File No. T-1542-12. The people who started this lawsuit are the Plaintiffs, and Canada is the Defendant.

The Claims in this Lawsuit

The lawsuit claims that Canada acted unlawfully and harmed those who attended at the Schools, and their children and band communities because the Schools were used to attempt to eliminate aboriginal languages, cultures and traditions. Further, the lawsuit claims that many people who attended the Schools also suffered mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. The Court has not decided this lawsuit and the Plaintiffs’ claims still have to be proven in Court.

Relief Sought

The Plaintiffs are seeking a variety of different forms of relief from the Court. In part, they are asking for Declarations by the court that Canada’s actions in overseeing the Indian Residential School System, and particularly the treatment of Day Scholars, were unlawful. In addition, the Plaintiffs are seeking monetary compensation for surviving Day Scholars, their children and Bands that were home to Residential Schools.

The Defendant’s Position

Canada is defending this lawsuit and denies the Plaintiffs’ claims including the Plaintiffs’ allegations of breaches of rights and duties. Canada also states that, with respect to claims being made by class members who are also class members of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement ("IRSSA") and did not opt out of the IRSSA, those claims are barred by the IRSSA. Canada also states that the harm the damages claimed, if they occurred, were caused by the churches and other religious groups and their employees who operated, ran, or otherwise worked at the schools.

Description of a Class Action

In a class action one or more people called "representative plaintiffs" sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people with similar claims are called the "class" or "class members." The Court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who remove themselves from the class.

The Representative Plaintiffs in this action are as follows:

  • For the Survivor Class:
  • Violet Catherine Gottfriedson (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Charlotte Anne Victorine Gilbert (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Diena Marie Jules (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Darlene Matilda Bulpit (Sechelt Indian Band)
  • Frederick Johnson (Sechelt Indian Band)
  • Daphne Paul (Sechelt Indian Band)

  • For the Descendant Class:
  • Amanda Deanne Big Sorrel Horse (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Rita Poulsen (Sechelt Indian Band)

  • For the Band Class:
  • Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band
  • Sechelt Indian Band

Those Belonging to the Class

You are included in this lawsuit and a member of the Class if you are:

A Survivor: This Class consists of all Aboriginal persons who attended at one of the Schools (as listed in Appendix "A" of this notice), but only for periods that were not compensated for through a Common Experience Payment; or

A Descendant of a Survivor: This Class consists of all persons who are the children of Survivor Class Members, or who were legally or traditionally adopted by a Survivor Class Member or their spouse.

There is also a Band Class in which the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band and the Sechelt Indian Band are currently members. Other bands can potentially join by 'opting-in’ to the lawsuit.

Your Options

You have to decide whether to stay in the Class or whether to remove yourself before a possible trial, and you have to decide this by November 30, 2015.

No Action

If you are a member of the Class and you do nothing, you will automatically remain in the lawsuit. You will not actively participate in the lawsuit, but rather will be represented by the Representative Plaintiffs. You will be bound by all Court orders, good or bad, including those already issued by the Court in this matter.

If you are a member of the class you will not be able to pursue your own lawsuit against Canada or any other parties. In a previous ruling in this action, Justice Harrington determined that the Representative Plaintiffs had made a decision not to seek damages from any third parties, which in this lawsuit are the various churches who ran the Residential Schools, and as a member of the class you will be bound by that decision. At the conclusion of this lawsuit you will not be able to sue the churches even if the Court finds that the churches are responsible for any damages you suffered.

This lawsuit is seeking benefits on behalf of the entire class. If any benefit is awarded, you may need to take action in order to receive these benefits.

Staying in this Lawsuit will not impact any benefits or services you may receive from the Government of Canada.

Opt-Out

If you are a member of the Class and you decide not to participate in the lawsuit, you must remove yourself – this is sometimes referred to as "opting out." If you remove yourself, you will not receive any money or benefit that may be obtained as a result of this lawsuit. You will not be bound by any Court orders and you keep your right to sue Canada regarding the issues in this case. You also maintain the right to sue any other parties, i.e. a Church organization that ran the Residential School you attended. You cannot change your mind later and opt back into the class action.

To remove yourself, complete the Opt Out Form included with this notice or send a letter that says you want to be removed from the Class. Your letter must include your name, address, telephone number, and signature. The Opt Out Form or letter must be sent to Peter Grant & Associates:

900 — 777 Hornby Street,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6Z 1S4
Email: dayscholar@grantnativelaw.com
Fax: 604-685-0244

You can also get the Opt Out Form or complete the form online.

Your opt out must be received by November 30, 2015.

Call Karenna Williams at 604 685 1229 or Patric Senson at 416 477 6978 if you have any questions about how to get out of the Class.

The Lawyers Acting for the Class

The Representative Plaintiffs have retained Class Counsel. The Court has approved Class Counsel to act for the Class. The Class Counsel consists of two firms, Peter Grant & Associates, and Phillips Gill LLP. As a Class member, you will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense. You will not have to pay the costs of Class Counsel.

A Trial

This Lawsuit may go to Trial

If the case is not dismissed or settled, the Plaintiffs will have to prove the claims and the claims of the Class at a trial. The trial would likely be in Vancouver, British Columbia. At trial, the Court hears evidence from witnesses so that a decision can be reached about whether the Plaintiffs are right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiffs will win any money or benefits for the Class.

Money or Benefits for the Class

The Representative Plaintiffs will be responsible for legal costs on all common issues. If you do not opt out, you will not be responsible for legal fees or liable for costs at this stage. If, following the common issues trial, there are individual issues for which you are a party, you will be able to make arrangements with your own legal counsel for determining the nature or those legal fees.

If the Plaintiffs obtain money or benefits as a result of a trial or settlement, Class members will be notified about how to ask for a share or what your other options are at that time. These things are not known right now. Important information about the case will be posted on the websites of the Bands and the Class Counsel as it becomes available.

Learning More

You can get more information about this case and opting out:

Karenna Williams
900 - 777 Hornby Street,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6Z 1S4
Phone: 604-685-1229
Email: dayscholar@grantnativelaw.com
Fax: 604-685-0244

Patric Senson
200 - 33 Jarvis Street,
Toronto, ON
M5E 1N3
Phone: 416-477-6978
Email: patric@legaladvocates.com

Jo-Anne Gottfriedson
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Day Scholar Co-ordinator
200-300 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops, British Columbia
Canada V2H 1H1
Phone: 250-828-9788 or 250-318-5628
Fax: 250-372-8833
Email: jo-anne.gottfriedson@kib.ca

Hereditary Chief Garry Feschuk
Sechelt Nation Counsellor
5545 Sunshine Coast Highway
Sechelt, British Columbia
Canada VON 3AO
Phone: 604-885-2273 or 604-230-3415
Fax: 604-885-3490
Email: gfeschuk@secheltnation.net

Or visit Day Scholars Class Action


Please Note:

Do not contact the Federal Court or the Federal Government of Canada with questions about this lawsuit. Rather refer all questions to Plaintiffs’ counsel or the Bands as listed above. The Federal Court and the Federal Government of Canada, including the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and its employees and lawyers, will not respond to questions about this lawsuit.


Notice (Band Classes)

To Any Aboriginal Band in Canada who had Band members attend an Indian Residential School and has or had an Indian Residential School on or proximate to Band lands or property

A Class Action Lawsuit May Affect Your Rights.

A court authorized this notice. You are not being sued.

  • You could be affected by a class action lawsuit involving the Kamloops and Sechelt Indian Residential Schools and additional Indian Residential Schools (the "Schools") (see attached Appendix 'A’ for the list of eligible schools).
  • A Court has approved the lawsuit as a class action that may include anyone who attended at any Indian Residential School, for any times they attended as a "Day Scholar" (i.e. non-resident student) as well as their children and the bands within communities that contained a Residential School. The Plaintiffs in the class action are suing the Government of Canada ("Canada") claiming that it is responsible for damages arising from attendance at the Schools. Attached to this Notice is a copy of the June 18, 2015 Court Order of Justice Harrington. This Order, and all other decisions related to this lawsuit can also be found on the Federal Court website.
  • This claim is different from the Residential Schools Class Action Settlement entered into by Canada. In that settlement, only those who lived at an Indian Residential School were compensated for the fact of having gone to the school. This claim is for compensation relating to time spent attending, but not living in, the Schools.
  • The Court has not decided whether Canada did anything unlawful, and the case is currently planned to go to a trial. There is no money available now and no guarantee there will be. However, your rights are affected, and you have a choice to make now.
YOUR OPTIONS AT THIS STAGE
Opt-in Join this lawsuit. Await the outcome. Share in possible money and benefits. Give up certain rights.

By opting in, your band gains the possibility of getting money or other benefits that may come from a trial or settlement. But, you give up any rights to sue Canada, or any religious organizations, on your own about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
Do Nothing Get no money or benefits from the lawsuit. Keep rights.

If you do nothing your band will not be included in this lawsuit. This does not affect the rights of individual band members to participate as Survivors or Descendants. If money or benefits are later awarded in this lawsuit, you won’t share in that money or benefits. But, you keep any rights to sue Canada, or any religious organization, on your own about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
  • Lawyers must prove the claims against Canada at a trial. If money or benefits are obtained you will be notified about how to ask for a share.
  • Your options are explained in this notice. To be included, you must act by February 29, 2016.

Questions? Call toll-free 1-844-558-5538 or visit Justice for Day Scholars.

What this Notice Contains


Background Information

The Purpose of this Notice:

This lawsuit has been "certified" as a Class Action. This means that the lawsuit meets the requirements for class actions and may proceed to trial. If you are included in the Class, you may have legal rights and options before the Court decides whether the claims being made against Canada on your behalf are correct. This notice explains all of these things.

The Honourable Justice Harrington, together with Prothonotary Lafrenière of the Federal Court, is currently overseeing this case. The case is known as Gottfriedson v. The Attorney General of Canada, Court File No. T-1542-12. The people who started this lawsuit are the Plaintiffs, and Canada is the Defendant.

The Claims in this Lawsuit

The lawsuit claims that Canada acted unlawfully and harmed those who attended at the Schools, and their children and band communities because the Schools were used to attempt to eliminate aboriginal languages, cultures and traditions. Further, the lawsuit claims that many people who attended the Schools also suffered mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. The Court has not decided this lawsuit and the Plaintiffs’ claims still have to be proven in Court.

Relief Sought

The Plaintiffs are seeking a variety of different forms of relief from the Court. In part, they are asking for Declarations by the court that Canada’s actions in overseeing the Indian Residential School System, and particularly the treatment of Day Scholars, were wrong. In addition, the Plaintiffs are seeking monetary compensation for surviving Day Scholars, their children and Bands that were home to Residential Schools.

The Defendant’s Position

Canada is defending this lawsuit and denies the Plaintiffs’ claims including the Plaintiffs’ allegations of breaches of rights and duties. Canada also states that, with respect to claims being made by class members who are also class members of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement ("IRSSA") and did not opt out of the IRSSA, those claims are barred by the IRSSA. Canada also states that the damages claimed, if they occurred, were caused by the churches and other religious groups and their employees who operated, ran, or otherwise worked at the schools.

Description of a Class Action

In a class action one or more people called "representative plaintiffs" sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people with similar claims are called the "class" or "class members." The Court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who remove themselves from the class.

The Representative Plaintiffs in this action are as follows:

  • For the Survivor Class:
  • Violet Catherine Gottfriedson (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Charlotte Anne Victorine Gilbert (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Diena Marie Jules (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Darlene Matilda Bulpit (Sechelt Indian Band)
  • Frederick Johnson (Sechelt Indian Band)
  • Daphne Paul (Sechelt Indian Band)

  • For the Descendant Class:
  • Amanda Deanne Big Sorrel Horse (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band)
  • Rita Poulsen (Sechelt Indian Band)

  • For the Band Class:
  • Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band
  • Sechelt Indian Band

Those Belonging to the Class

Bands can join the class by choosing to 'opt in’ to the Action. A Band is eligible to opt in if:

  • The Band Members include some who are Survivors (defined below); and
  • An Indian Residential School, recognized in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement and listed in Appendix "A" to this notice is present on, or proximate to, Band lands or property.

Individuals are included in this lawsuit and a member of a Class if they are:

A Survivor: This Class consists of all Aboriginal persons who attended at one of the Schools, but only for periods that were not compensated for through a Common Experience Payment; or

A Descendant of a Survivor: This Class consists of all persons who are the children of Survivor Class Members or were adopted either legally or traditionally by a Survivor or their spouse.

The Band Class currently consists of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band and the Sechelt Indian Band. Other bands can join by 'opting-in’ to the lawsuit.

Your Options

You have to decide whether to opt into the Class before a possible trial, and you have to decide this by February 29, 2016.

Opt – in

If you wish to become a member of the Class you will need to "opt-in". To opt-in complete the Opt In Form included with this notice, or send a letter that says you want to join the Class. Your letter must contain the Band Name, contact name and address, telephone number and a representative’s signature. The Opt In Form or letter must be sent to Peter Grant & Associates at the following address:

900 — 777 Hornby Street,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6Z 1S4
Email: dayscholar@grantnativelaw.com
Phone: 604-685-1229 Fax: 604-685-0244

You can also get the Opt In Form or complete the form online.

Your opt in must be received by February 29, 2016.

If you are a member of the class you will not be able to pursue your own lawsuit against Canada or any other parties. In a previous ruling in this action, Justice Harrington determined that the Representative Plaintiffs had made a decision not to seek damages from any third parties, which in this lawsuit are the various churches who ran the Residential Schools, and as a member of the class you will be bound by that decision. At the conclusion of this lawsuit you will not be able to sue the churches even if the Court finds that the churches are responsible for any damages you suffered.

This lawsuit is seeking benefits on behalf of the entire class. If any benefit is awarded, you may need to take action in order to receive these benefits.

Call Karenna Williams at 604-685-1229 or Patric Senson at 416-477-6978 if you have any questions about how to opt in to the Class.

Opting in to this Lawsuit will not impact any benefits or services you may receive from the Government of Canada.

Do Nothing

If you decide not to participate in the lawsuit, you do not have to take any actions. However, you will not receive any money or benefit that may be obtained as a result of this lawsuit. You will not be bound by any Court orders and you keep your right to sue Canada regarding the issues in this case. You also maintain the right to sue any other parties, i.e. a Church organization that ran the Residential School on or near your Band property. You cannot change your mind later and opt into the class action.

The Lawyers Acting for the Class

The Representative Plaintiffs have retained Class Counsel. The Court has approved Class Counsel to act for the Class. The Class Counsel consists of two firms, Peter Grant & Associates, and Phillips Gill LLP. As a Class member, you will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense. You will not have to pay the costs of Class Counsel.

A Trial

This Lawsuit may go to Trial

If the case is not dismissed or settled, the Plaintiffs will have to prove the claims and the claims of the Class at a trial. The trial would likely be in Vancouver, British Columbia. At trial, the Court hears evidence from witnesses so that a decision can be reached about whether the Plaintiffs are right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiffs will win any money or benefits for the Class.

Money or Benefits for the Class

The Representative Plaintiffs will be responsible for legal costs on all common issues. The two Band Class Representatives would like to discuss with you whether or not your Nation will be willing to be responsible for a share of legal costs on the common issues. If you opt in and following the common issues trial there are individual cases involving your Band, you will be responsible for the costs of advancing those individual issues.

If the Plaintiffs obtain money or benefits as a result of a trial or settlement, Class members will be notified about how to ask for a share or what your other options are at that time. These things are not known right now. Important information about the case will be posted on the websites of the Bands and the Class Counsel.

Learning More

You can get more information about this case and opting in:

Karenna Williams
900 - 777 Hornby Street,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6Z 1S4
Phone: 604-685-1229
Email: dayscholar@grantnativelaw.com
Fax: 604-685-0244

Patric Senson
200 - 33 Jarvis Street,
Toronto, ON
M5E 1N3
Phone: 416-477-6978
Email: patric@legaladvocates.com

Jo-Anne Gottfriedson
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Day Scholar Co-ordinator
200-300 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops, British Columbia
Canada V2H 1H1
Phone: 250-828-9788 or 250-318-5628
Fax: 250-372-8833
Email: jo-anne.gottfriedson@kib.ca

Hereditary Chief Garry Feschuk
Sechelt Nation Counsellor
5545 Sunshine Coast Highway
Sechelt, British Columbia
Canada VON 3AO
Phone: 604-885-2273 or 604-230-3415
Fax: 604-885-3490
Email: gfeschuk@secheltnation.net

Or visit Day Scholars Class Action


Please Note:

Do not contact the Federal Court or the Federal Government of Canada with questions about this lawsuit. Rather refer all questions to Plaintiffs’ counsel or the Bands as listed above. The Federal Court and the Federal Government of Canada, including the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and its employees and lawyers will not respond to questions about this lawsuit.

Date modified: