view counter

Indian day school lawsuit numbers swell

Friday June 24, 2011
Rick Garrick/Wawatay News
First Nation lawyer Joan Jack speaks about the McLean Day School class action lawsuit she filed in 2009 against the federal government during the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Residential School Gathering June 11-12 at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay.

An update on a class action lawsuit by former day school students was given June 11 at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Residential School Gathering in Thunder Bay.

“We’ve got over 10,000 people registered for the day school class action now,” said Joan Jack, a lawyer who launched the McLean Day School Class Action lawsuit in 2009 against the federal government.

“Because the legal arguments are not strong on the side of the day scholars, I ended up getting all of the day school students’ enquiries referred to me. This turned into a big groundswell,” Jack said during the gathering.

An amendment to the claim later allowed other day school students from across Canada to potentially join the lawsuit.

Thousands of First Nation day school students were left out of the $1.9-billion residential school compensation settlement because they went home to their families every night.

Day schools were operated on or near First Nation communities to educate registered Indian, Metis and Inuit children.

An Ojibway from Berens River in Manitoba who specializes in Aboriginal law, Jack lives in B.C. with her husband.

Since launching the suit she has received referrals from big law firms and Service Canada offices all over the country.

“So surprise, you know what happened? We’re united,” Jack said. “And now it’s wonderful, because now we have political power. If we stay united as day school students, we have political power. We are a force to be reckoned with.”

A number of Indian day schools were located in northern Ontario, including Aroland Indian Day School, Big Trout Lake Indian School, Christ the King Day School in Moosonee, Lac Seul Day School, Long Lac Indian Day School and Northwestern Bay Day School in Fort Frances.

Former Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine and another lawyer are now working with Jack on the lawsuit, with Fontaine providing advice and direction.

“Phil is a really good man and he has decided he is going to put his shoulder to the truck again and see if he can get this one unstuck,” Jack said.

Fontaine was national chief when he helped negotiate the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, which excluded day school students.

Jack is looking to raise money to hire a legal team for the next step in the class action lawsuit.

“I need to raise the resources so I can hire specialized class action lawyers because it is a specialized field of law,” Jack said.

“Some lawyers have been volunteering here and there, but I need to get our team in order.”

Once the federal government files their defence against the statement of claim, the case goes to a certification process where the court hears arguments from both sides of the case.

If the court agrees there was an injustice, a settlement agreement is usually negotiated.

“We are not looking for a handout,” Jack said. “We have been victimized by the Canadian state and seeking justice is different than asking for a handout. Seeking justice is about having the other party stand up and say ‘Yes, this was wrong.’”

Former day school students wanting to take part in the class action can fill out a form found at www.joanjack.ca.


Email to a Friend
qr code
add to del.icio.us

Stumble It!

Where are you taking me

Where are you taking me dad?To school.Why?They want you to go.Why?Because.Why?That's why.Why?Stop asking me stupid questions,that's why...why?...........now I am the BLACK SHEEP.

First of all, what is the

First of all, what is the true defintion of an Indian Day School? I went to a Roman Catholic School in Moosonee in the late 60's and early 70's. Many of my friends and myself were prevented from speaking our Cree language by the nuns. As a matter of fact, we were even threatened and some were abused right in front of our eyes. I'm very sure some kids got traumatized because of that. The only diffence was, we went home every evening. So, do i also fit into this category of...of..of...a...a...a...Indian Day school thing?

I went to school in Moosonee

I went to school in Moosonee while growing there, even before B.B.S. existed, and after it was built. We were allowed to speak our language. I also attended St. Ann's Residential school. As far as I know, it is the largest Cree community, next to the reserves along the coast, and it still is even now that Moosonee is a municipality. People should stop deceitfulness and understand that lying will only hinder healing. I recall we spoke Cree in the recreation halls, but we were expected to use English while in classes. OKay, some nuns may have used pointer sticks or rulers with a swift flick to the fingers or hands to remind students to speak English. Otherwise, I know I heard CREE among the students and childcare workers/supervisors and employees (many of whom were aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents and relatives working in laundry, maintenance, etc.)

What does one think will

What does one think will happen if a native kid from 5 to 12 years old hears being called "a savage" on a constant and regularly basis? What does one think will happen if a kid is told he or she cannot speak her language? What do we think will happen if a 10 year old witness another kid's head being banged against a blackboard or is dragged by the hair around a classroom? What do we think will happen if a 12 year old witnesses another 12 year old being punched in the face and blood spurting out? This not only happend at the old Christ the King School but also happened in a catholic day school called Bishop Belleau School. How do I know? I am a former student. Some of the former students are now dead from alcohol related issues. Some are dying and they are pan handling at the Northern Stores in Moosonee. What is abuse? You tell me?

It is abuse!! my prayers are

It is abuse!! my prayers are with all the vitims of this horrible crime. I hope you all get the compensation that you deserve to get. God Bless you all and may you find peace one day.

i myself went to a

i myself went to a residential school in beauval sask as a day student and we suffered alot of abuse while i was going to school there.That was quite an experience for a young person to have to go through.We were treated like we were a bunch of animals.We were yelled at,punched,humiliated,dragged around like we were rag dolls.There was racism, and we were not allowed to speak our own language.I still suffer the effects of the abuse i suffered from back then.

MY Dad Attended a Indian Day

MY Dad Attended a Indian Day School Im 23years old now my Dad Passed away when i was 20 from Alchohol related Sitiuations my dad told me some of the things that they did to him in his last days he sat there some days and just cried about it, and continued to drink this was a horrible experience for me losing the one parent i had left and the only real blood line i had left mom dad are gone my brother passed away to cancer no sisters He would be here still if these things had not occured he was severly depressed not only by the things he had went threw but threw the things that happened to him as a kid...i wish they did something sooner...

I myself can relate to this

I myself can relate to this experience. My late dad also went attended a Day School in the Tsartlip Reservation, Brentwood Bay BC on Vancouver Is. He also was a heavy drinker and I never found out of his pain until I did a Camosun College paper on the "Tsartlip Day School Experience". We had just begun the paper and he just broke down into tears. I immediately stopped the questions. When we became adults, he actually apologized for all of the physical and emotional abuse and explained that, that was what he was taught at the Day School. We, myself and 3 siblings, just cried and all gave our late dad a hug and forgave him. I thank the great creator that we had closure to our dad's ugly past. He asked us to push forward to some kind of settlement on his behalf if he was no longer with us. So, that is what I did. I filed on behalf of my late father...

She used to line us up and

She used to line us up and give us a strap with a ruler and sometimes we would be put in a corner with a dunce cap on, I remember the older ones too getting the strap with a big strap it was kinda pink in color and about two to three inches wide and about 2 feet long. we had no language, no history of our own, nor were we taught anything good about being native!

i,d like to get info, about

i,d like to get info, about applying 4 day school apllication, cause i attended a day school were i,ve been abused .i like 2 aplly on line.

Iwitnessed abuse..i was

Iwitnessed abuse..i was abused...I was in day school...in my home community...Why??? I witnessed degration, yardstick slapped, soap mouthwashing, haircuts,and much more..why do you think I am the way I am right now...

where do i go or who do i

where do i go or who do i talk to about a law suit i attended day school

Indian Day School was

Indian Day School was frightening, the Principle came up to me on the school ground once and I can still remember how afraid I was. Sometimes we would all be punished for one child, it was very traumatic watching because if one does not cry, the teacher or principle would keep on hitting harder or holding the ruler so that the metal edge hits their hands, I remember my upper arm being so red from the strap. I knew of the sexual abuse and so did many other students but who were we suppose to tell. I agreed to help one go to court for her abuser, sad to say, she took her life before the court date was set. I hope and pray that her two sons would at least get some sort of assistance for the greatest loss, loosing a mother.

i REMEMBER THIS

i REMEMBER THIS SCHOOL...FIRST ONE I ATTENDED UNTIL WE WERE SHIPPED OFF TO ST. ANGONY FORT ALBANY RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL..WHEN WILL THE PAIN END..

Hi I have some hand written

Hi I have some hand written report cards from 1937 any interest??

Hi I have come into some hand

Hi I have come into some hand written report cards from 1937 from the gibson indian day school any dewashas out there??

Is the Indian Day School

Is the Indian Day School lawsuit still active? I have no real information about the class action...J

I attended Christ the King

I attended Christ the King school in Moosonee and also St. Anne's in Fort Albany. I use alcohol to forget the pain, and I want to be free of it. I want to life a clean and healthy life style. I am joining this, not for me but for my children, they have been affected by it too. One day, I will be healed.

Where does one get forms to

Where does one get forms to fill out to take part in former dayschool lawsuit ?
Thks

hi ! this is one disturbed

hi ! this is one disturbed ethinew (people of mother earth)from manitoba. growing up in a community so devouted to child abusers was no place for anyone who wanted to live a normal life but with no recourse. the nuns were not certified teachers,priests were not registered dentists, and the nuns were not registered nurses and yet continued to plague us with defammation of our rights to proper medical attention which is one of our treaty rights and not to mention dozens of breach of trust from the government whom was to assist us for a better future and not anguishment of forever lasting sorrow of shame of what his holiness done to us.A badly bruised up body is what i have and a mind full of bitterness to the government for breach of trust, defammation of character,genocidal practises against people and you name it;;;it was done to children of mother people.Genocidal experiments on lice poison chemical dumped on our heads for no reason !!!close your eyes YES, we were told not to breath and yet we had to breath to live, and inhaled this rat poison powder in our lungs. Why do you think there is such a high rate of cancer amongst native people who attented residential and indian day schools ??? I am fotunate today of not going crazy back then, cause the priest ripped my wisdom tooth off with not sedation of freezing with the brother holding me down and both him and i were lifted off the chair i was sitting all blacking out and not feeling any pain anymore just my head ringing profusly wild with all kinds of weird sounds and somehow my focus went crazy and i couldn't think straight and do my work as expected and getting strapped with straps that were thick for not being able to do my work.the priest broke my tooth in half and had to go through the same pain and i couldn't cry anymore just so weak with my heavy breathing head-ache numbness all over my body, eyes ready to shut down and my ears ringing.Damned government how dare you say SORRY and yet you never meant a damned word of it, you said that to get away from public scrutiny.I couldn't share more but i will wait and call me if you want to talk @ 1-204-449-2364, n ask for mr brass EKOSI!!!

I attended the Indian

I attended the Indian Residential School from 1960-67 and went to day school during the last few months of 1967. The verbal, physical and psychological abuse continued as a day school student. The IRS went to grade 7 and after I completed grade 7, my dad had to send me to another IRS for grade 8 & 9 which was 100 miles from home. Regardless if whether I was an IRS or Day School student the abuse was still happening. The teachers were farmers or lay people with no educational background. We were not allowed to speak in our language but the missionaries could speak french. The pain is still there today regardless of the therapy or treatments that I have attended. The triggers pop up and that ugly reminder comes back.

Me and my brothers and sister

Me and my brothers and sister all went to a two room school runned by the United Church of Canada in Newfoundland.my brothers were beaten with yard sticks,leather straps, and even a four by four board.myself i was beaten with a yard stick,strapped on the hands until they bled, also, put in a corner with 3 knowledge book each 1 foot thick each .it started when I was 6 years old.the impact has caused depression, grief and many more physical,emotional,mental,spiritual issues that are following me through my life.I pray that the government donors our plea for justice soon and start the healing process for the Indian
day school survivors megwich

my husband and I attended day

my husband and I attended day school way back in the 60s here in northern Manitoba. there was a lot of abuse. many times my husband said he didn't know why he was strapped. our parents trusted these teachers who came to the community to teach us and wouldn't listen to the stories we had to tell. I withdrew in to myself because I was afraid many times of what I would get if I got into trouble. when I attended school in Winnipeg, it said "reserved" beside my picture in the yearbook. I kept to myself and I still have a hard time opening up to my family

Post new comment

Comment policy

All comments submitted to Wawatay News Online must have a correct name, location and email address of the user. Wawatay will not approve comments without the required information.

The approval of comments will also be subjected to relevancy, laws of defamation and good taste.

Once posted, comments become the property of Wawatay News. Wawatay News reserves the right to publish or use this comment in any way in the future for online use, in print, and by any other media at the discretion of Wawatay News.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.