AFN Files Class Action Residential Schools Lawsuit

Thursday, August 04, 2005 at 15:01



The Assembly of First Nations is filing a class action lawsuit against the federal government over residential school abuse.


The statement of claim states the government’s residential school policy and the schools themselves “caused irreparable harm and damage” to First Nations’ cultures, languages, families, communities, social structures and their way of life.


AFN national chief Phil Fontaine says his group wants to ensure Ottawa provides a fair and just resolution to the abuse Aboriginal people endured at the schools and the assault on their cultures.


The claim identifies four classes of plaintiffs: survivors, the deceased, families and First Nations.


Fontaine says the AFN will continue to work with former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci, who was appointed by the federal government in May to work with Aboriginal groups in finding the best way to resolve the residential school abuse issue.


Fontaine says the claim is not an attempt to impede that process, but to ensure that it this issue is settled more effectively and that all options remain open to survivors and their families.


Iacobucci is scheduled to report back to the government next March.