The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne would like to update the community regarding the Federal Indian Day School Class Action Settlement process.

On Thursday, October 31, the class counsel Gowling WLG received a court challenge from David Schulze (of law firm Dionne Schulze) representing his client Chief Paul-Emile Ottawa, chief of Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan in Quebec. The challenge cited lack of resources to survivors, delays in claiming compensation, and no multilingual documents for those who don’t speak English. The Federal Court of Appeal has yet to decide if it will hear the appeal or not.

The Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly had gathered in Ottawa from December 3 -5 for their annual meeting, where they unanimously passed a resolution regarding the challenge. They are requesting that Chief Ottawa withdraw his legal challenge against the class action and allow for the claim process to continue for the 120,000 survivors that are waiting for the process to begin. Chief Ottawa has not yet responded to the resolution but will meet with the AFN National Chief next week.

Gowling WLG has yet to say how long the process will be delayed and posted on their website that until the challenge is addressed, class members will not be able to apply for compensation. If class members have any questions regarding the delay, they are encouraged to call them at 1-844-539-3815 or email them at dayschools@gowlingwlg.com.

Mental health counselling and crisis support is available to class members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through Hope for Wellness Hotline. Contact Hope for Wellness at 1-855-242-3310 or through their online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca. Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut, on request.