Grand Chief to speak today at Indian Day School court hearing

05/13/2019

Grand Chief to speak today at Indian Day School court hearing - View PDF

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) wishes to advise the community that Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton is in Winnipeg to attend the Federal Court proceedings regarding the Indian Day Schools class action lawsuit.

The Federal Court is being asked to approve the proposed settlement for the nation-wide lawsuit against Canada to compensate survivors for harms/abuses they suffered while attending federally-operated Indian Day Schools.

Grand Chief Norton will speak at the proceedings, which get underway today and will continue until Wednesday. He is expected to make his presentation at some point this morning.

These schools were established, funded and operated by the federal Department of Indian Affairs. After 1920, Indigenous students across Canada were forced to attend these schools (if they weren’t attending Residential Schools) by law, under the Indian Act. Between 1868 and 1988 there were a total of eleven (11) Indian Day schools in Kahnawà:ke.

“The vast majority of Kahnawa’kehró:non who went to school up to 1988 attended an Indian Day School, and our community is one of the most impacted by this” said Grand Chief Norton. “There has been an incredible response to the news of this lawsuit by our people. At one point we had over 70 people a day either calling our offices or showing up in person to ask for information.”

Should the court approve the settlement, a plan will be put in place to ensure community members have the proper information needed to proceed with claims. The law firm Gowling WLG will be visiting the community at a future date to explain the settlement and answer questions.

“We will do everything we can to make sure the community is properly informed at all times on this important matter,” Grand Chief Norton concluded.