[The Epoch Times, January 23, 2023](The Epoch Times reporter Zhou Xing reported in Toronto) The federal government has reached a 2.8 billion agreement to solve theBritish ColumbiaA class action lawsuit brought by an Aboriginal community related to collective harm caused by a residential school.
At a news conference in Vancouver on Saturday,CanadaIndigenous Affairs Minister Marc Miller said the government signed the agreement with plaintiffs representing 325 Aboriginal groups who opted in to the Gottfriedson Band lawsuit.
The lawsuit initially involved 3 categories of complainants, but in 2021, the parties agreed to focus initial settlement efforts on survivors and their descendants to ensure they receive compensation during their lifetimes.
Miller said the out-of-court settlement will be guided by four pillars, with the award going to support the revival, preservation, promotion and well-being of Aboriginal communities of Aboriginal languages and cultures.
The $2.8 billion would be placed in a separate not-for-profit trust, he said. More terms of the settlement will be announced next month.
More than a decade ago, former shishalh chief Garry Feschuk and former Tk’emlupste Secwepemc chief Shane Gottfriedson launched a lawsuit for abuse at school, But day students who were not eligible for the 2006 full-time student settlement sought justice.
Gottfriedson said: “Today, on behalf ofCanadaThe 325 Aboriginal groups across the country have developed a settlement plan that enables groups to work along the four pillars. “
He said the settlement allows Aboriginal communities to control the entire process, “We will manage and distribute these funds, and we will provide them to all 325 groups in a fair and objective manner.”
Each community will decide for itself which of the four pillars to focus on and will develop a ten-year implementation plan.
Class action attorney Peter Grant explained that after the first decade, another ten-year plan would be drawn up with the aim of ensuring all funds were distributed over 20 years.
Between Feb. 27 and March 1, a federal court will decide whether to approve the settlement, followed by an appeal period. Thereafter, the relevant funds will be transferred to the trust account.
Editor in charge: Yue Yi