January 03, 2005

Alleging abuse, former Baptist Mission students sue

CBC North

WHITEHORSE - Former students of a Whitehorse Indian residential school are joining forces to sue the government and the people they say abused them.

A class-action suit is being brought by former students of the Whitehorse Baptist Mission school

The class-action suit was filed in Yukon Supreme Court on Christmas Eve, just days after federal authorities revealed they were rejecting claims by Baptist Mission School students.

Whitehorse lawyer Dan Shier says Ottawa's denial of responsibility for the Baptist institution has left him little choice but to sue.

"I think it will put pressure on the federal government when they start looking at the materials we have uncovered through access-to-information requests," he says.

"The students didn't know that they were in a specific class of school, whether it was an Indian day school or a residential school or a religious institution. It didn't matter to them. They were taken from their families, put in these schools under the Indian Act, and they were abused, so to be fair to everybody the process should be equal to all."

Posted by kshaw at January 3, 2005 07:54 AM