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First Nations communities offered compensation for drinking water advisories

Compensation has been made available to First Nations communities and individuals impacted by long-term drinking water advisories. The deadline to apply is March 7. 
Over the shoulder view of someone filling a glass of filtered water right from the tap in the kitchen

Compensation has been made available to First Nations communities and individuals impacted by long-term drinking water advisories. The deadline to apply is March 7. 

First Nations communities and individual class members who are members of First Nations that were subject to a drinking water advisory that lasted at least one year between Nov. 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021, can submit a claim to receive compensation, says a First Nations Drinking Water Settlement news release.

Minors, people living with disabilities, and people who died after Nov. 20, 2017, are also eligible for compensation and representatives can apply on their behalf.

Eligible individuals can submit a claims form by midnight on March 7. Claim forms submitted by regular mail must be postmarked by Canada Post by the deadline. Claimants will receive a letter by mail or by email from the administrator to confirm that their claim has been received.

“We encourage those eligible to submit their claim right away so they can be compensated for their harms from living under a long-term drinking water advisory,” Darian Baskatawang, class counsel for the First Nations Drinking Water Class Action Settlement said in the release. 

There are free resources available for those who need help filling out claim forms, including Claims Assessment Tool and interactive guides, Baskatawang added. All can be found on the  First Nations Drinking Water website. An administrator is also available by phone to help with the claim process – class members don’t need to pay anyone to help them, said Baskatawang.

As of Jan. 31, more than 140,000 claims have been submitted, said the release. 

In addition to individual and community claims, additional compensation is available for individual class members who experienced specified injuries. 

These claims will be processed after individual and community claims, once the deadline has passed, because the compensation amount is dependent on the total number of eligible claims received. 

Online Resources

For questions about submitting a claim, the claims process or to get an update on a current claim the administrator can be reached at 1- 833-252-4220.

Class counsel is also available for free to address legal questions related to the settlement. They can be reached at 1-833-265-7589 or counsel@firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca, with questions directed to the administrator. 

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.