Residential school 'day scholars' can launch class-action lawsuit: court

Chief Shane Gottfriedson at a recent community to community forum with Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar

VANCOUVER - Hundreds of First Nations' people left out of residential-school compensation will be allowed to collectively sue the federal government for their treatment.

Federal Court in Vancouver has certified a class-action lawsuit proposed by the so-called "day scholars," who returned to their homes at night.

The decision comes a day after a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission branded the residential school survivors' collective ordeal "cultural genocide."

The legal action was launched by two British Columbia aboriginal bands, from which at least 300 survivors have so far been identified.

Chief Shane Gottfriedson of the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc band says the decision is another step towards justice and reconciliation.

The two First Nations' bands say they're beginning preparations to notify class members and expect the outcome of any trial to be months or years away.

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