June 4, 2015
(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today congratulated the leadership of Chief Shane Gottfriedson of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, Chief Calvin Craigan of Shishalh Nation and all former day school students on the Federal Court decision to certify their class action lawsuit against the federal government.
“This decision contributes to the action we need to achieve reconciliation between First Nations and Canada and I thank Chief Gottfriedson and Chief Craigan for their dedication and determination on this issue,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “We have all just witnessed the release of the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and we must build on that spirit and momentum for reconciliation, respect and justice. First Nations and Canada have a shared history and a shared responsibility to repair and restore our relationship. This includes acknowledgment and justice for the day scholars.”
On June 3, the Federal Court in Vancouver certified a class action lawsuit seeking compensation for First Nations students who were forced to attend federally-run schools but were allowed to return home in the evenings. The day scholars suffered loss of language and their connection to their cultures and identity, much like former students of residential schools. The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and Shishalh Nation will now begin notifying class members about the decision to proceed with the class action.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
For more information please contact:
Jenna Young Castro, AFN Communications Officer (613) 241-6789 ext 401 or (613) 314-8157 or [email protected]
Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer (613) 241-6789 ext 382 or (613) 292-0857 or [email protected]