The First Nations Drinking Water Settlement recently announced that it will be extending its claims period to March 7, 2024. Eligible applicants will now have a full year to submit a claim to the settlement.
With the new extension, claims submitted between March 8, 2023, and March 7, 2024, will be assessed, and eligible payments will be processed after March 7, 2024. Those that were submitted before March 7, 2023, will be assessed by the Administrator, and eligible payments will be processed. All claims for Specified Injuries compensation will be processed after March 7, 2024.
The First Nations Drinking Water Settlement came from a class action lawsuit filed against Canada.The suit was filed by Olthius Kleer Townshend (OKT) LLP and McCarthy Tetrault LLP on behalf of the Neskantaga First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Tataskweyak Cree Nation, and all other First Nations across the country dealing with long term drinking water advisories.
“The theory of our case was that Canada owed a duty because of the control it has over First Nations finances and lands,” explained said Kevin Hille of OKT.
“The Government of Canada had essentially controlled water infrastructure on reserves for decades which makes them responsible for the deplorable state of water infrastructures on reserves.”
By December 2021, the suit ended in an $8 billion settlement. First Nations and individuals impacted by long-term drinking water advisories that lasted continuously for at least one year between November 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021 are now eligible for some monetary compensation.
Among the First Nations qualifying for the claim are Upper Nicola, Lower Nicola, Coldwater, and Nooaitch Indian Bands.
To be eligible for compensation, Individuals must:
- not have passed away before November 20, 2017;
- be a member of a First Nation; and
- have 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 November 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021.
If born before November 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 November 20, 2013, and June 20, 2021.
If born on or after November 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 November 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021.
Individuals can also apply for Specified Injuries compensation for injuries they experienced while complying with drinking water advisories.
For questions about the claims process and assistance with the Claim Form, contact the administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220.