Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – The First Nations Summit (FNS) is voicing support for the filing of a class action lawsuit against the Federal Government by leaders of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Indian Band and Sechelt Indian Band for damages arising from the forced attendance of their community members at Indian Residential Schools that operated in their territories from 1890 until the 1970’s.

In 2008, the federal government issued an apology to survivors of Indian Residential Schools and subsequently set up a process of compensation. However, the compensation process only applied to live-in survivors and unfairly excluded Residential School survivors who only attended these horrific institutions during the day.

“Indian Residential Schools were created to strip our people of every element of our culture and assimilate us into Canadian society”’ said Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit political executive.

“We all know the devastating impacts these horrific institutions had, and continue to have, on our peoples to this very day as a result of the physical and emotional abuses that took place. While a process of reconciliation and compensation has been created for the live-in survivors, the federal government must not forget about those who attended these institutions during the day. They too, are survivors of these dreadful institutions and should be included in any process of compensation’’ added Chief John.