Indigenous Day School Group asks Canadian Government for Details on Settlement Process and Recognition of Right to Legal Counsel
Indigenous Day School Group
"The Government of Canada announced a range for the settlement for Indigenous Day School survivors on March 12, 2019. The lack of detail on the process, clarity on the individual adjudication process and the principle of access to legal counsel is sorely missing. We are calling on the Minister of Indigenous Crown Relations, Carolyn Bennett, to provide clarity on these issues as soon as possible," said, Joan Jack, on behalf of a number of class action members. "Without clarification, these survivors will continue to question when and if they can truly tell their story and the process they need to follow to seek access to the settlement offered by Canada. Frankly, we feel let down by the federal government announcement."
"Day School survivors deserve fair compensation and clarity on how their settlement will be adjudicated. While a court will review the proposed settlement to ensure that it is fair, each claimant should be allowed to choose their own legal counsel," said Joan Jack.
"Victims of the Day School program are going to be sharing some of their most intimate, personal, and emotionally devastating experiences. They deserve to have counsel that they know and trust to help them tell those stories, not someone chosen by the government," said Joan Jack.
Historically, and internationally, limits placed on the rights of indigenous people to choose their own counsel have caused harm, and it is for this reason that the ability to choose counsel is one of the rights contained in the UN's declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of which Canada is a signatory.
Together the lawyers listed below represent roughly 15,000 survivors of the Day School program who would be bound by this settlement. Joan Jack is speaking on behalf of the group of lawyers from across western Canada who have expressed concern over this settlement, and have filed materials seeking to challenge the settlement approval process. The group includes:
Guardian Law Group LLP
Clint G. Docken/Mathew Farrell
Telephone: 403-269-3612/403-457-7778 Ext. 303
Kirby Fourie Coertze Law
Eleanore Sunchild/Michael Seed
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
Alghoul & Associates Law Firm
Joan Jack/Louay Alghoul
DD West LLP
Levene Tadman Golub Law Corporation
Wayne M. Onchulenko