SASKATCHEWAN – Numerous people who lived on a First Nation in Canada - including Saskatchewan - that had a long-term drinking water advisory for more than a year are eligible to submit a claim for compensation.
The First Nations Drinking Water Settlement provides compensation for both individuals and First Nations Band Councils that were impacted by long-term drinking water advisories that lasted continuously for at least one year between Nov. 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021. The deadline to apply is March 7, 2023.
"We are encouraging individuals to submit a claim for compensation as soon as possible and are offering real support to help them in the process,” said Darian Baskatawang, a lawyer for the class action lawsuit.
“Claimants can ask us as Class Counsel questions related to this settlement and for assistance making a claim for Specified Injuries. Claimants can also contact the Administrator to understand how they may apply for compensation and access free support completing their Claim Form. There are on-demand webinars and other community resources on the website to provide additional information.”
Compensation is available for individuals and includes additional compensation for health harms (Specified Injuries) sustained by those following drinking water advisories. Personal representatives can claim on behalf of eligible minors, those with mental incapacity (under disability) and those who passed away on or after Nov. 20, 2017.
People living on dozens of First Nations in Saskatchewan alone, as well as across Canada, qualify. To see a list and map of the Impacted First Nations go to firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca.
If born before Nov. 20, 1995, the claimant must have ordinarily resided / lived on an Impacted First Nation during a long-term drinking water advisory that lasted continuously for a year or longer, anytime between Nov. 20, 2013 and June 20, 2021.
If born on or after Nov. 20, 1995, the claimant must have ordinarily resided / lived on an Impacted First Nation during a long-term drinking water advisory that lasted continuously for a year or longer, anytime between Nov. 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021.
Do you qualify for compensation?
To be eligible for compensation individuals must be a member of a First Nation and been impacted by a long-term drinking water advisory (boil water, do not consume or do not use) that lasted at least a year between Nov. 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021.
There is an online claims assessment tool that helps individuals understand if they are eligible by answering a few quick questions.
Specified injuries compensation
If eligible, individuals can also apply for Specified Injuries compensation for injuries they experienced as a result of drinking water advisories. Any individuals seeking compensation for Specified Injuries must submit a Claim Form.
To support Claim Members navigate the claims process, additional information can be found on the website https://firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca/, as well as informative modules and a Claims Assessment Tool to direct them to the appropriate Claim Form.
Band councils can participate
For any impacted First Nation Band Councils that want to participate in the settlement, they must submit a submit a Band Council Acceptance Resolution to receive $500,000 from the settlement. The deadline for this submission has been extended to March 7, 2023.
They can also submit a Band Council Confirmation List on behalf of their community members, so they do not have to fill out a Claim Form, unless they want to make a claim for Specified Injuries. There is support and funding available for Band Councils to complete and submit this list. Band Councils wishing to participate can visit the website for additional information and/or call the administrator or counsel for the class action lawsuit.
For questions about the claims process and assistance with the Claim Form, contact the administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220. For legal questions related to the settlement or assistance with making a claim for Specified Injuries, contact Class Counsel at no cost: firstname.lastname@example.org and toll-free at 1-833-265-7589 .
Emotional support is available through Hope for Wellness toll-free at 1-855-242-3310, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or by online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
Additional information on this settlement as well as the interactive guides and webinars can be found at www.firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca, and individuals can use the online claim assessment tool to guide them through the claim process journey.
About the settlement
On Dec. 22, 2021, the courts approved a settlement between Canada and First Nations and their members who were subject to a drinking water advisory that lasted at least one year, between Nov. 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021.
The settlement includes compensation for Impacted First Nations and eligible individuals as well as commitments to fund the construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure needed to provide regular access to clean, safe drinking water in their homes in a quantity sufficient for everyday use.
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