AMC Responds to Day School Settlement Application Deadline

July 12, 2022

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs releases this statement in advance of the Day Schools Settlement deadline tomorrow, Wednesday, July 13th, 2022.

“The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is disappointed that neither Canada nor the Claims Administrator of this landmark settlement has considered over two years of requests from First Nations leadership in Manitoba to extend the deadline for the Day Schools Settlement applications,” Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean, Lake Manitoba First Nation said.

“The historic class-action suit was settled in 2019 and was intended to redress the abuses and damages that First Nations children endured when they were forced to attend federally operated Indian Day Schools across Canada. But over the past two years, COVID-19 has created enormous disruptions in the application process for First Nations,” said Acting Grand Chief McLean. “In addition, limited in-person supports to assist with filling out applications and the lack of connectivity in many of our First Nations have meant significant numbers of First Nation citizens have been unable to apply.”

Acting Grand Chief McLean said, “It is unethical of both Canada and the Claims Administrator, Gowling WLG, to impose deadlines not set by First Nations. An extension for applications could greatly reduce stress, but instead, tomorrow’s deadline will re-traumatize Indian Day School survivors.”

On March 12th, 2019, plaintiffs in the McLean case announced the settlement of a nation-wide class action lawsuit against Canada seeking compensation for survivors of harms they suffered while attending federally operated Day Schools. It has been four years since the publication of the approved agreement and three years from the start of the claims process led by the Claims Administrator. Canada has announced an extension request process available for survivors who miss the original Indian Day Schools Settlement deadline. The Claims Administrator must receive the forms by January 13th, 2023, and all requests are reviewed by the Exceptions Committee.

“It is a burdensome process where extensions will not be automatically granted, and survivors are expected to provide reasons explaining why they have not filed a claim before the imposed deadline,” said Acting Grand Chief McLean. “Instead of imposing more bureaucratic hurdles designed to deny our citizens justice, Canada must honour its commitment to finding a meaningful resolution for First Nations.”