All former students of the Timber Bay School can do now is wait and see if a judge agrees with their application to qualify under the Indian residential school settlement agreement.
A hearing into the matter wrapped up last week at Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon.
Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson says she believes lawyers for the former students put forward strong arguments and she is optimistic the judge will rule in their favour.
“I am very optimistic and I believe we have a strong case for the Timber Bay Children’s Home to be added under Article 12 under the Indian Residential School Agreement,” she says.
Lawyers for the students argue the school operated under the complete direction and authority of the Department of Indian Affairs and so they should qualify for compensation under the Indian residential school agreement.
Michael Swinwood, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, says the federal government had much more involvement than simply paying room and board for the students.
“You can’t say all you did was pay room and board,” he says. “And all that inspection reports and all those duties, the education counselor and Department of Indian Affairs in Prince Albert, education counselor on reserve – all of these coalesce to demonstrate that they did much more than pay room and board.”
Justice Neil Gabrielson says he will make a decision on the matter sometime before the end of the summer.