VANCOUVER- A Federal Court judge has approved a $2.8 billion settlement agreement between the Canadian government and plaintiffs representing 325 First Nations whose members went to residential day schools.
Justice Ann Marie McDonald said in her ruling issued Thursday that the settlement is intended to help take steps to reverse the losses of language, culture and heritage through an Indigenous-led not-for-profit body.
She called the agreement “historic,” and “transformational,” adding that the settlement does not release the Canadian government from future lawsuits related to children who have died or disappeared at residential schools.
The federal government originally reached the settlement with the plaintiffs in January, but Federal Court also needed to approve the agreement.
The lawsuit was originally brought forth by two B.C. First Nations, the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and the shishalh, more than a decade ago.
Those members were ineligible for the 2006 settlement reached between Canada and full-time students at the schools.
The settlement now goes into an appeal period, after which the money will be transferred to a not-for-profit fund managed by a board of Indigenous leaders.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March, 9, 2023.