FAQs

About the First Nations Drinking Water Settlement

Individuals are giving up their right to sue Canada for the claims resolved by this Settlement. That means you will not be able to sue Canada for damages incurred before June 20, 2021 that were caused by Canada’s failure to provide safe drinking water in your community.

Impacted First Nations who do not accept the Settlement will not be bound by it and cannot benefit from the terms of it.

Approval of the settlement means you cannot take legal action against Canada for damages before June 20, 2021. However, you can take action against Canada for damages beginning or continuing after June 20, 2021.

No. This Settlement Agreement does not cancel or take priority over any treaty between Canada and any Class Member, or any existing agreement between Canada and any Class Member with respect to First Nation water and wastewater systems, long-term drinking water advisories or similar matters.

The $8 billion Settlement includes:

  • $1.8 billion in compensation to individuals and Impacted First Nations
  • an additional $50 million allocated for eligible individuals who suffered Specified Injuries due to a drinking water advisory that lasted at least one year between November 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021
  • At least $6 billion to support construction, upgrading, operation, and maintenance of water and wastewater infrastructure in First Nations communities
  • A renewed commitment to Canada’s Action Plan for the lifting of all long-term drinking water advisories
  • Planned modernization and inclusion of standards in Canada’s First Nations drinking water legislation
  • The creation of a First Nations Advisory Committee on Safe Drinking Water
  • Support for First Nations to develop their own safe drinking water by-laws and initiatives

Class Counsel in this case are McCarthy Tétrault LLP and Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. They can be reached by phone at 1-833-265-7589 (toll free) or by email at counsel@firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca.

No. Class Counsel’s fees will be paid by Canada. They can help you with claims for Specified Injuries Compensation or legal questions about the settlement. There is no cost to you.

The First Nations Drinking Water Settlement website is for compensation for Impacted First Nations and Individuals. More information about other commitments in the Settlement Agreement can be found on the Ending long-term drinking water advisories page of the Indigenous Services Canada website.

The Settlement Agreement dictates that two (2) years after completing all payments, the Administrator will destroy all claimant information and documentation that it has collected during the claims process. This means that a claimant or their Estate Executor or Estate Claimant has two years from that time to request the return of their information before it is destroyed.

Any information provided, created or obtained in the course of administering this Settlement Agreement is kept confidential and is not used for any purpose other than to administer the Settlement Agreement.

An interest-bearing Trust Fund has been established for the Settlement. Depending on how many claims are made and how much money remains in the trust after claims are paid, the Trust Fund could also be used to (in order of priority):

  • add funds to the Specified Injuries Compensation Fund,
  • pay individual damages or First Nations damages from claimants that claimed after the deadline,
  • increase the damages paid to individuals or First Nations, or
  • fund programming to promote education, cultural or spiritual practices, study, or healing in connection with Long-Term Drinking Water advisories.

The decision on how to use surplus funds will be made by Class Counsel. The funds will be distributed in the order of priority, as set out above, and any distribution must be approved by the Courts.

Claims Process

The claims period is now closed for regular submissions.

However, in some cases the Administrator may ask Individuals to submit a new Claim Form.

This may apply to you if you’ve received a letter from the Administrator informing you that information was missing on your original Claim Form.

Individuals can apply by submitting a Claim Form.

Note that Individuals must submit an Individual Claim Form for themselves, and a Representative Claim Form if:

  • You are filing as a personal representative for a person under disability (under Power of Attorney)
  • You are filing as a personal representative/guardian for a minor child who has not been included as part of the Band Council Confirmation list
  • You are filing as an estate representative/Executor on behalf of an individual who passed away on or after November 20, 2017
  • You are filing as the highest priority heir on behalf of a family member who passed away on or after November 20, 2017

For help with filling out your claim, you can contact the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220. There are also helpful interactive guides to walk you through the process of filling out an Individual or Representative Claim Form. For help with filling out your claim, you can contact the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220. There are also helpful interactive guides to walk you through the process of filling out an Individual or Representative Claim Form. You can find those guides on the Claims Form page.

The Individual Claim Form includes a checklist that outlines all the information you need to submit with your claim. You will need to provide a copy of your government-issued identification (ID), for example, your Indian Status Card.

If you are submitting a claim for Specified Injuries (Part 4 of the Claim Form), you do not have to provide supporting documents or testimony to make a claim. However, for certain types of Specified Injury claims, you may be asked by the Administrator to provide documentation. If asked, you can include things like (a) medical records of the injury and its cause; (b) other records including written records, photographs, and videos, of the injury and its cause; (c) a written statement; or (d) oral testimony.

If you do not have a government-issued ID, you must complete the Sworn/Affirmed Declaration in Part 5 of the Claim Form where you will state that you do not have a government-issued ID. You must also have a Guarantor witness and sign the statement, and they must also include their personal details in Part 5 of the Claim Form. The date of both signatures (yours and the Guarantor’s) must be the same.

You only need one Claim Form even if you lived in multiple Impacted First Nations or experienced multiple Specified Injuries.

The Administrator, as part of this claims process, may disclose the information you provide and/or your amount of compensation, to any of the following groups: the First Nation where you are a member, the First Nation(s) where you lived, Canada, Class Counsel, the Third-Party Assessor, the Joint Committee, the Settlement Implementation Committee, and/or the First Nations Advisory Committee on Safe Drinking Water.

Canada, as part of this process, may disclose information in its possession to any of the following groups: the Administrator, Class Counsel, the Third-Party Assessor, the Joint Committee, the Settlement Implementation Committee, and/or the First Nations Advisory Committee on Safe Drinking Water.

Privacy is important. The information you submit will be kept confidential except where we need to share it with others as part of this process.

There are two ways the Administrator confirms receiving your completed Claim Form, which depends on how you submit it.

  1. If you submit your completed Claim Form through the Online Portal, you will receive a Submission Confirmation email that includes your Claim ID and a PDF copy of your completed Claim Form as an attachment.
  2. If you submit a Claim Form by email, fax or mail, you will get a Confirmation of Receipt letter mailed to you by the Administrator.

If your Claim Form is complete, you will receive a decision letter. If your Claim Form is missing information, the Administrator will contact you regarding the missing items.

If you believe you submitted a Claim Form and you have not received a letter or email, you can call the Administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220 to check on the progress of your Claim.

You can call the Administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220 if you have questions about the status of your submitted Claim Form.

If you have already submitted a Claim Form and need to provide additional documentation, please call the Administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220 for assistance.

The Claims Process is now closed for regular submissions.

However, in some cases the Administrator may ask Individuals to submit a new Claim Form.

This may apply to you if you've received a letter from the Administrator requesting that you submit a new Claim Form due to missing information on your original Claim Form.

Please call the Administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220 for support and to get a Claim Form mailed to you.

You can receive personalized support from Class Counsel. This can be arranged by calling toll-free at 1-833-265-7589.

There are several items you will need to complete the Claim Form including:

  • Copy of your government identification
  • Indian Status Card Number or Band Registration Number
  • Void cheque or direct deposit form if you would prefer to be paid by direct deposit

NOTE: If you don’t have a copy of your identification or are claiming for Specified Injuries, you will need to have a guarantor witness and sign your Claim Form. The following individuals may act as a Guarantor and sign the Sworn/Affirmed Declaration:

  • Border Service Officer
  • Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager
  • Certified/Registered Accountant
  • Chartered Professional Accountant
  • Chief
  • Commissioner of Oaths
  • Correctional Officers
  • Federal or Provincial Court Judge or Justice of the peace
  • Government or Band Councillor
  • Indian Registration Administrator
  • Indigenous/Aboriginal Liaison Officer
  • Inuit Community Leader
  • Lawyer
  • Licensed Medical Doctor/Physician
  • Northern Villages’ Secretary/Treasurer
  • Notary Public
  • Peace Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Psychologist/Psychiatrist
  • Registered Clinical Counsellor
  • Registered Nurse
  • Registered Occupational Therapist
  • Registered Social Worker
  • Teacher (primary or secondary)

The Administrator is currently processing claims submitted by the March 7, 2024 deadline and making compensation payments to eligible claimants. Once the Administrator determines a claim’s eligibility, they will send a letter by mail to the Claimant explaining the decision and the process for requesting an appeal.

  • If you submitted your claim on or before March 7, 2023, the Administrator will begin processing your payment after the appeals period has expired. If an appeal is requested, compensation will be provided after that appeal has been resolved.
  • If your claim was submitted after March 7, 2023, compensation will be determined in due course once all claims have been tabulated and any appeals have been resolved.

The adjudication and payment process will take time to complete and depends on a number of factors: [bullet] Whether there is missing or additional information required and timeliness of submitting this to the Administrator;

  • Whether multiple claims were submitted for the same individual;
  • If there are updates or changes to the initial information received by the Administrator;
  • The timelines set out in the Settlement Agreement (e.g., there is a 60-day appeal period after a decision letter is sent in which the Administrator cannot make payments until after the 60 days has passed).

Payments for Specified Injuries claims will begin after all Specified Injuries claims have been processed (including any appeals). This is because the compensation amount for each eligible individual depends on the total number of eligible claims received. This can only be determined once the claim period closes, all claims have been adjudicated and the appeal process has been completed.

Eligibility 

The Impacted First Nations can be found on this list. Those First Nations on this list are known to have been subject to a drinking water advisory that lasted at least one year between November 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021.

Certain First Nations are not included in this Settlement as they are bringing their claims in a different way. Those First Nations are:

  • Tsuu T’ina Nation
  • Sucker Creek First Nation
  • Ermineskin Cree Nation
  • Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation)
  • The Okanagan Indian Band

The eligibility period is different based on when you were born.

If you were born on or after November 20, 1995, you can apply for the period between November 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021.

If you were born before November 20, 1995, you can apply for the period between November 20, 2013 and June 20, 2021.

Please note that there are exceptions for those who could not begin a proceeding for their claim before November 20, 2013, due to their physical, mental, or psychological condition.

In this settlement, individuals born before November 20, 1995, are eligible for compensation only for long-term drinking water advisories that happened after November 20, 2013, up to June 20, 2021. This is because of the federal limitation period, which provides adults with six years to bring a lawsuit forward after something happens.

Since the First Nations Drinking Water Class Action was filed in 2019, those born before November 20, 1995, are eligible for compensation as of November 20, 2013 (six years prior to the class action being filed).

The six-year limitation period doesn’t apply to people who were unable to begin a proceeding for a claim before November 20, 2013, because of a physical, mental or psychological condition. It also doesn’t apply to minors under 18 years old as they are not expected to launch a lawsuit while they are under the federal age of majority. This means that the eligibility period for minors can be up to 18 years before November 20, 2013.

For more information or assistance, please contact Class Counsel, toll free, at 1-833-265-7589 or email counsel@firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca.

Yes, the settlement also includes First Nation Minor Children. The definition of a Minor Child can be different by province or territory of residence. In most cases, it means someone under the age of 18 years. Minor Children will not receive compensation directly. Payment for an eligible Minor Child will be made to the legal personal representative who submits the claim on behalf of the Minor Child, unless the law requires something different. If more than one personal representative files a claim for a Minor Child, additional information and/or documentation may be required to determine the appropriate representative.

In some cases, yes. If the eligible individual passed away on or after November 20, 2017, their family or other personal representative may apply on their behalf.

Documentation is required to confirm that the person submitting a claim on behalf of the deceased individual is eligible to do so.

The settlement ONLY applies to First Nations members who lived on Impacted First Nations lands on this list and were subject to a drinking water advisory that lasted at least one year between November 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021.

The individual must be a member of a First Nation to receive compensation under this settlement. They do not need to be a member of the First Nation they are residing on / claiming for, but they do have to be a member somewhere. Please see the Notice Documents for more details.

If you do not agree with the Administrator’s decision, you can appeal it. The appeal will be reviewed and assessed by a Third-Party Assessor whose decision will be final.

Individuals have 60 days from the date on the decision letter to submit an appeal.

To appeal the decision, you must send a written statement to the Administrator describing your reason(s) for appealing. Details on how to appeal the decision will be noted in the decision letter you receive from the Administrator.

Requests for appeals can be submitted by mail, email or fax. Please address your appeal to, “First Nations Drinking Water Class Action Administrator.”

Mail:
PO BOX 160 Stn Adelaide
Toronto, ON M5C 2J2
Canada

Email:
firstnationswater@deloitte.ca

Fax:
647-738-5206

Once received, the Administrator will forward your request to the Third-Party Assessor for review.

A photocopy (front and back) of any one piece of your current government-issued identification (ID), for example, issued by a Federal, Provincial or Territorial government, must be submitted as part of your claims package.

Acceptable ID: one of the following cards issued to you by the Federal or Provincial/Territorial governments:

  • Driver’s License (or Operator’s License, in some provinces)
  • Provincial/Territory Photo Card
  • Passport
  • Certificate of Indian Status (Indian Status does not expire. Your registration number confirms your status.)
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status (Indian Status does not expire. Your registration number confirms your status.)
  • Land Claim Beneficiary Card (including NTI Enrolment Card)
  • Social Insurance Card (Paper or Card)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Old Age Security (OAS) Identification Card
  • Firearms Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL)
  • Official Military ID
  • Nexus Card
  • Bring Your ID (BYID) Card (age of majority card)
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • U.S. State ID
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Prison/Correctional ID
  • First Nations/Indigenous Government ID

Not acceptable ID: Any cards issued by the city/municipality/region (for example, Library Card) or other organization are not eligible Federal or Provincial/Territorial government-issued ID

If you do not have any government-issued ID, you must complete the Sworn/Affirmed Declaration in Part 5 of the Claim Form, where you will declare that you do not have a piece of a government-issued ID and are therefore providing this Sworn/Affirmed Declaration. This statement must be witnessed and signed by a Guarantor who must also complete all the personal details included in Part 5 of the Claim Form. The signature dates of both the Individual Class Member and Guarantor must match.

The following individuals may act as a Guarantor and sign the Sworn/Affirmed Declaration:

  • Border Service Officer 
  • Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager 
  • Certified/Registered Accountant 
  • Chartered Professional Accountant 
  • Chief 
  • Commissioner of Oaths 
  • (Administer-appointed) Community Liaisons 
  • Correctional Officer 
  • Federal or Provincial Court Judge or Justice of the Peace 
  • Government or Band Councillor 
  • Indian Registration Administrator 
  • Indigenous/Aboriginal Liaison Officer 
  • Inuit Community Leader 
  • Lawyer 
  • Licensed Medical Doctor/Physician 
  • Northern Villages’ Secretary-Treasurer 
  • Notary Public 
  • Peace Officer 
  • Pharmacist 
  • Police Officer 
  • Psychologist/Psychiatrist 
  • Registered Clinical Counsellor 
  • Registered Nurse 
  • Registered Occupational Therapist 
  • Registered Social Worker 
  • Teacher (primary or secondary) 

You can be eligible for compensation for the location where you spend the most time which is more than six months over the course of a year. 

To be eligible for compensation, you must meet all of the following: 

  • You must be a member of a First Nation. 
  • You do not need to be a member of the First Nation you are residing on / claiming for, but you do have to be a member somewhere 
  • You must have been ordinarily resident or temporarily worked on an Impacted First Nation Reserve, which means you lived on the affected Reserve for more than six months over the course of one year while it was subject to a drinking water advisory between November 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021. 

The Administrator sends out a decision letter to each person who submits a claim for compensation. The reason for ineligibility will be included in the letter.

Minors

You must provide document(s) showing eligibility as the minor child’s personal representative. This may include a copy of the Birth Certificate; legal documentation of guardianship (for example, custody or adoption records or documents showing that you are the guardian over the minor child’s property). You may also be required to complete an Attestation Form.

Instructions on how to apply for a minor child can be found in Part 7 of the Representative Claim Form.

Only one claim is allowed per minor child. If we get more than one personal representative claiming on behalf of the same person (for example if two people make claims on behalf of the same minor child, or two people claim on behalf of the same estate) then we will contact everyone and ask you to sort things out amongst yourselves. We will provide you with a form that will appoint a representative. The representative that will not receive the money will need to complete and submit the form to the Administrator to appoint the Representative who will receive the money.

If that isn’t possible, you may need to ask the court to provide us all with direction before payment can be made.

By applying on behalf of a minor child, you consent to the sharing of your name and contact information with other claimants for the same minor child, if applicable. If there is a change in representation before payment is made, please inform the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220.

The Minors Protocol is a set of guidelines created to supplement the First Nations Drinking Water Settlement Agreement. The Minors Protocol establishes the process for determining who is an eligible representative in each jurisdiction along with how much compensation and when the representative can receive on behalf of the minor child.

It applies when the Administrator or the Third-Party Assessor determines that a minor child is eligible for compensation.

A minor child, as defined in the Minors Protocol, refers to an individual who has not reached the age of majority in their province of residence at the time when the Administrator will make the payment.

Under the Minors Protocol, an “Eligible Payment Recipient” is a personal representative who may receive the minor child’s individual and/or Specified Injuries compensation on behalf of the minor child. The Eligible Payment Recipient can be a trustee or guardian of the minor child’s property, a parent with whom the minor child resides, or an adult with lawful custody or guardianship of the minor child.

Whether the Eligible Payment Recipient can receive the compensation on the minor child’s behalf is dependent on the jurisdiction and circumstance.

If the personal representative is a trustee of the minor child’s property, they can receive all the payment on the minor’s behalf.

To ensure the eligibility of a minor child’s personal representative, the Administrator will follow the following steps:

Step 1: Review the Submitted Claim Form

The Administrator will carefully examine the submitted Claim Form to verify the minor child’s status as an eligible Individual Class Member. They will calculate the appropriate compensation for both Individual Damages.

If the minor child is deemed eligible, the following steps will occur:

Step 2: Send the Attestation Form

Once the review is complete, the Administrator will send an Attestation Form along with the decision letter to the minor child’s personal representative. This form is crucial for further evaluation.

NOTE: There is no Attestation Form requirement for claims from Prince Edward Island as all payments will be made to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

Step 3: Assess the Eligibility of the Personal Representative

Upon receiving the completed Attestation Form, the Administrator will evaluate whether the minor child’s personal representative qualifies as an eligible payment recipient. They will carefully consider the information provided to make an accurate determination.

Step 4: Completion of Schedule A – Guardian’s Acknowledgement — Children’s Property (for Alberta) or Guardian’s Acknowledgment of Responsibility (for British Columbia).

The Administrator will send the acknowledgement document by mail after they receive the completed Attestation Form.

Step 5: Assess for Specified Injuries

If Specified Injuries have been claimed for a minor child, the Administrator will then assess eligibility and calculate the appropriate compensation for Specified Injuries.

Payments will be made to the same Representative as the Individual Damages unless the Administrator has been notified of any changes for the Representative.

Step 6: Completion of Schedule A for Specified Injuries amount (BC and AB).

The Administrator will send the acknowledgement document by mail after they receive the completed Attestation Form.

By following these steps, the Administrator ensures a comprehensive assessment of a minor child’s personal representative, allowing for an accurate determination of their eligibility, and ensure payment is made in a manner consistent with the relevant jurisdiction.

Yes, decisions made by the Administrator under the Minors Protocol can be appealed to the Third-Party Assessor following the claims process described in the Settlement Agreement.

The Administrator may ask the personal representative of a minor child to fill out a province-specific Attestation Form (excluding those living in Prince Edward Island). This form helps verify the eligibility of the personal representative to receive the child’s payment. The Administrator will provide the required Attestation Form along with the decision letter.

If the Administrator doesn’t receive a completed Attestation Form within 90 days, they can direct the payment to:

  • Public Guardian and Trustee (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador); Ontario Accountant (Ontario)
  • Public Curator or Director of Youth Protection (Quebec)
  • Public Trustee (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia)

Note: Completing an Attestation Form is not required for claims involving minors in Prince Edward Island as all payments will be directed to the Public Trustee.

If the minor child’s personal representative is the trustee of the minor child’s property, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation). If they are a parent with whom the minor child resides or have custody of the minor child, they will receive the full payment unless it exceeds $10,000. In that case, the Administrator will pay up the full amount to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

If the minor child’s personal representative is the trustee of the minor child’s property, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation). If they are a parent with whom the minor child resides or have custody of the minor child, they will receive the full payment unless it exceeds $25,000. In that case, the Administrator will pay up the full amount to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

If the minor child’s personal representative is a parent or guardian of property who has provided the necessary security or obtained a court order, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation). If they are a responsible adult acting on the minors’ behalf, the Administrator will seek authorization from the Public Guardian and Trustee. If the payment exceeds $10,000, the Administrator will request that the Public Guardian and Trustee accept the payment.

If the minor child’s personal representative is the guardian of the estate of the minor child, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation). If they are a parent with whom the minor child resides or have custody of the minor child, they will receive the full payment unless it exceeds $10,000. In that case, the Administrator will pay the full amount to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

If the minor child’s personal representative is the guardian of the minor child’s property, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation). If they are a parent with whom the minor child resides or the lawful custodian of the minor child, they will receive the full payment unless it exceeds $35,000. In that case, the Administrator will pay up to $35,000 to the personal representative and direct the remainder to the Ontario Accountant.

If the minor child’s personal representative is a parent (legal tutor), parent-appointed guardian (suppletive tutor) or court-appointed guardian (dative tutor), they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation).

If the minor child’s personal representative is a parent, parent-appointed guardian, or court-appointed guardian, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation).

If the minor child’s personal representative is the guardian of the minor child’s property, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation). If they are a parent with whom the minor child resides or have custody of the minor child, they will receive up to $2,000 and the remainder will be directed to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

If the minor child’s personal representative is the guardian of the minor child’s property, they are eligible to receive the full payment (payment obligation). If they are a parent with whom the minor child resides, have custody of the minor child, or are the guardian of the child, they will receive up to $2,000 and the remainder will be directed to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

In such cases, the Administrator will direct the payment to the Public Guardian and Trustee (in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Labrador), Public Trustee (in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), Ontario Account (in Ontario) or Public Curator or Director of Youth Protection (in Quebec).

Yes, Alberta and British Columbia require an additional form:

  • Guardian’s Acknowledgment of Responsibility (for Alberta)
  • Guardian’s Acknowledgement-Children’s Property (for British Columbia)

The personal representative must declare that the payment is for the minor child’s benefit and will be spent only for the minor child or saved for their future. The Administrator will mail the acknowledgement form after receiving the completed Attestation Form.

Canada Child Benefit documentation is not considered valid proof of your relationship with the minor child for the purposes of this settlement.

It is preferable that the personal representative for a minor child provides a copy of valid identification, but a Sworn Declaration is an acceptable alternative.

Yes, a Delayed Statement of Birth is acceptable documentation. These documents are typically filled out when a child is one year or older and the parents did not complete the Live Statement of Birth within 30 days of the child’s birth. The Delayed Statement of Birth should include the child’s name, parent(s) name(s) and a stamp.

  • Manitoba Health Card
  • Indian Status Cards

You can also provide one of the following:

  1. A copy of a letter from a local Child and Family Services agency confirming that the minor child’s Personal Representative is the primary caregiver of that minor child.
  2. A letter from the Chief or a Councillor of the First Nation the minor child is a member of, confirming that the minor child’s Personal Representative is the primary caregiver of that minor child.

The Minors Protocol will prevail on any discrepancies with the FAQs.

Compensation – Individual 

  • Scenario 1: John lived in a remote First Nation community all his life. There was an advisory between May 15, 2019 to May 15, 2020. He can expect to receive $2,000 because he experienced a “boiled water advisory” for one year.
  • Scenario 2: John’s 17-year-old daughter Tina lived with him in their remote First Nation community all her life but went away to school in September of 2019. Even though Tina did not live there for the entire year of the “boil water advisory”, she can expect to receive about $2,000 as she is under 18 and attended school away from her community.
  • Scenario 3: Theresa lives in a non-remote First Nation impacted by a “do not consume” advisory from May 14, 2014 to June 20, 2021, seven (7) whole years. She lived in the community the entire time. Since “do not consume advisories” for non-remote communities are compensated at $1,650 per year, Theresa can expect to receive about $11,550 (7 years x $1,650).
  • Scenario 4: Jim, lived in a non-remote First Nation community impacted by a “boil water advisory” from January 1, 2010 to November 21, 2019, nine (9) whole years. Jim lived in the non-remote First Nation all his life. Since the “boil water advisories” for non-remote communities are compensated at $1,300 per year and Jim was born in 1962, he is eligible from November 20, 2013 to November 21, 2019, or 6 years. Jim can expect to receive about $7,800 (6 years x $1,300).

Compensation is subject to eligibility and may vary depending on the total eligible claimant population and compensation payable.

See Individual Compensation for more information about how compensation is determined.

Payment schedules have been pre-determined by the Settlement Agreement.

The Administrator can only issue payments to Individual Class Members and First Nation Class Members in accordance with the terms set in the settlement.

If you have additional questions about the claims process, please contact the Administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220.

If you have questions about the terms of the settlement, please contact Class Counsel toll-free at 1-833-265-7589 or by email at counsel@firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca.

In some cases, the Administrator will need to clarify which reserve you lived on to determine your eligibility for compensation under this settlement. Please respond to the Administrator as soon as possible to avoid processing delays for your claim.

No, compensation paid through the claims process of this settlement is not intended to be considered income for tax purposes.

Canada committed to making its best efforts to ensure that compensation received under this settlement will not impact any social benefits or assistance that Class Members would otherwise receive, both from Canada and the Provinces.

Individual compensation for submissions during this period depends on how many claims were submitted between March 8, 2023, and March 7, 2024.

Specified Injuries 

You may be eligible for additional compensation for Specified Injuries if you suffered significant and long-term health problems that harmed your quality of life and disrupted your wellbeing and/or daily activities. Those health problems must be directly caused by the drinking water advisory, either because you used treated or tap water in accordance with the advisory but still got sick, or because you didn’t have proper access to treated or tap water.

This means you must have followed the drinking water advisory instructions. For example, if a boil water advisory was in place, you must have followed the instructions and always boiled your tap water beforehand. This also means that you must have been using the treated or tap water. Source water (lakes or streams) is not covered. 

Specified Injuries may include or be associated with nine types of harm:

  1. Digestive (gastroenterological)
  2. Respiratory/Breathing
  3. Dermatological (skin)
  4. Liver
  5. Neurological (brain/nervous system)
  6. Bloodstream infections
  7. Kidney
  8. Tumors or Cancer
  9. Mental Health

Class Counsel consulted with 14 experts including First Nations Elders, Knowledge Keepers, a Hydrologist, Infectious Disease experts, an Aquatic Toxicologist, History Professors and an Actuary to determine compensation amounts.

The Administrator has been appointed by the Courts to process applications in accordance with the terms of the settlement, the findings of the experts, and the information provided by the Individual Class Members and Impacted First Nations. The Administrator does not represent Canada, the First Nations, or First Nations members.

Please see the Notice Documents for more details.

Once the Administrator has sent a decision to you about your claim, no more changes to your form can be made.

You can only submit the Claim Form once. If you need help making changes to your Claim Form, contact the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220. If you need help with your claim for Specified Injuries Compensation, contact Class Counsel at 1-833-265-7589.

If your Claim Form is incomplete or does not contain all the required information, you will be contacted and asked to provide the missing details. This may delay the processing of your claim.

Level 1 is for serious harm that impacted you for more than one month but less than one year, and where you tried to get treatment for your health problems from someone, such as an Elder, Community Health Leader, Shaman, Knowledge-Keeper, Traditional Healer, Medicine-Person, nurse, or doctor.

Level 2 is for serious harm that impacted you for more than one year, and where you actually received treatment for your health problems from a Traditional Healer, a Medicine-Person, or a doctor.

The settlement has a Specified Injuries Fund of $50 million. The compensation amount for each eligible individual will depend on how many eligible claims are made.

If you are eligible, your compensation will be based on the total number of eligible claims, the type of harm you suffered, and the level of that harm.

This amount will not be known until all claims are received and reviewed.

Please see the Notice Documents for more details.

Every individual who is determined as eligible will receive compensation.Please see the Notice Documents for more details.

If you claimed for Specified Injuries, and are eligible for compensation, you will receive payment after all Specified Injuries claims have been processed (including any appeals). This is because the compensation amount for each eligible individual depends on the total number of eligible claims received. This can only be determined once the claim period closes, all claims have been adjudicated and the appeal process has been completed.

If you have questions about the Administrator’s decision about your claim, please call the Administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220 for assistance.

If you do not agree with the Administrator’s decision, you can appeal it. The appeal will be reviewed and assessed by a Third-Party Assessor whose decision will be final.

Individuals have 60 days from the date on the decision letter to submit an appeal.

To appeal the decision, you must send a written statement to the Administrator describing your reason(s) for appealing. Details on how to appeal the decision will be noted in the decision letter you receive from the Administrator.

Requests for appeals can be submitted by mail, email or fax. Please address your appeal to, “First Nations Drinking Water Class Action Administrator.”

Mail:
PO BOX 160 Stn Adelaide
Toronto, ON M5C 2J2
Canada

Email:
firstnationswater@deloitte.ca

Fax:
647-738-5206

Once received, the Administrator will forward your request to the Third-Party Assessor for review.

You can call the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220 to make changes to your Claim Form, but only until the Administrator has made a decision about eligibility. You will not be able to make changes to your Claim Form after your claim has been assessed by the Administrator.

Representation Claims Process and Compensation Estate Claims

The Administrator must be notified that the Claimant has passed away in order for a Representative to receive payment on behalf of the deceased Claimant. The Representative must also submit additional documentation. The documentation required depends on whether the Claimant died with or without an estate.

If the Claimant died with an estate, the Representative can apply as an Estate Executor and must submit Part 1, Part 3 and Part 8 of the Representative Claim Form.

Part 8 of the Representative Claim Form outlines the additional supporting documents that will be required:

  1. A death certificate or funeral directors statement of death;
  2. A document which proves you are the executor of the estate such as an INAC letter or Court Order; and,
  3. Your identification.

If the Claimant died without an estate, the highest priority Heir can apply as a Representative and must submit Part 1, Part 3 and Part 9 of the Representative Claim Form.

Part 9 of the Representative Claim Form outlines the additional supporting documents that will be required:

  1. A death certificate or funeral directors statement of death;
  2. A document which proves your relationship to the Claimant (i.e., a long-form birth certificate if parent/child relationship); and
  3. Your identification.

For more information about the required documentation, please consult either Part 8 or Part 9 of the Representative Claim Form. You can also call the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220.

If you submitted a Representative Claim Form for a Claimant who died without an estate, your Claim will not be processed after the Claims Deadline (March 7, 2024) has passed.

If the person died on or after November 20, 2017, a Representative Claim Form may be filed on their behalf. The Representative Claim Form must be completed by the Estate Executor, Trustee, Administrator or Liquidator of the deceased individual.

If there is no Executor/Trustee/Administrator/Liquidator, then a family member of the Individual Class Member may file a claim on their behalf. This family member must be the highest priority living heir.

Additional information on how to file a Claim on behalf of a deceased individual is available in Part 8 and 9 of the Representative Claim Form.

Please notify the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220. The Administrator will require additional information for the Estate Executor/highest priority living heir to continue the claim. This information may include: estate documentation; death certificate; evidence of relationship to the deceased individual; and/or copy of government-issued identification (ID).

Yes, you can apply for Specified Injuries as part of the Representative Claim, as long as you are the legal representative for your loved one. Please see the Representative Claim Form for more information and the different types of representatives who can claim on behalf of others.

Yes, the settlement also includes compensation for Minor Children.

The definition of a Minor Child varies by the province or territory of residence. In most cases, it means someone under the age of 18 years. If you are making a claim on behalf of a Minor Child, you are considered the Minor Child’s “personal representative.”

You can apply for a Minor Child who has been impacted by long term drinking water advisories by completing the Representative Claim Form.

To be an eligible personal representative for a Minor Child, you must be one of the following:

  • the parent, with whom the Minor Child resides
  • not the parent, but have custody of the Minor Child
  • not the parent, but have legal guardianship over the Minor Child’s property

Please see Part 7 of the Representative Claim Form  for more details on how to apply.

If you have any questions, please contact the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220.

You will need to provide document(s) that show you’re eligible to be the Minor Child’s personal representative. This may include: a copy of the Birth Certificate; or legal documentation of guardianship (for example, custody or adoption records, or documents showing that you are the guardian over the Minor Child’s property).

Review the Representative Claim Form Part 7 for instructions on how to apply for a Minor Child.

Only one claim is allowed per Minor Child. If there are multiple claims by different people, additional information and documentation will be required from each of the personal representatives submitting a claim for the Minor Child to demonstrate their right to act as the personal representative (see Part 7 of the Representative Claim Form). By making an application on behalf of a Minor Child, you are consenting to our sharing your name and contact information with other claimants for the same Minor Child, if any. If there is a change in representation of the Minor Child before payment is made, please notify the Administrator toll-free at 1-833-252-4220.

Minor Children will not receive funds directly. If the Minor Child is eligible for the settlement, payment will be made to the Minor’s eligible personal representative on the Minor Child’s behalf unless the rules require something different, such as paying it into trust.

If you are a personal representative for a person who is mentally incapable (person under disability), you can file a Representative Claim Form to apply for compensation for that person.

A person under disability is defined as someone who is unable to manage or make reasonable judgments or decisions about their affairs because of mental incapacity. This person must also have been appointed a personal representative according to the applicable provincial or federal legislation to manage their property/finances.

You need to have been legally appointed as their personal representative to make a claim on their behalf.

Review the Representative Claim Form  for instructions on how to apply for a person under disability.

You will need to provide document(s) that shows you have been legally appointed as their personal representative over their property/finances. This must be one of the following: a signed power of attorney; a protection mandate; or a Provincial or Territorial court appointment order.

If more than one person files a Representative Claim Form for a person under disability, additional information and/or documentation may be required to determine the personal representative of the individual in question.

Impacted First Nations

No, First Nations will not receive an amount related to the Specified Injuries claims.

Please see the Notice Documents for more details.

Eligible individuals included on the Band Council Confirmation List will be paid directly by the Administrator. Payment will be sent to the individual, not the Band.

The First Nation base payment ($500,000) and First Nations damages (equal to 50% of eligible resident individual damages compensation) will be paid directly to the eligible First Nation Band Council.

If a First Nation does not agree with the Administrator’s decision, the First Nation Band Council can appeal it. The appeal will be reviewed and assessed by a Third-Party Assessor whose decision will be final.

First Nation Band Councils have 30 days to submit an appeal. First Nation Band Councils cannot appeal the amount of the Base Payment ($500,000). However, they may appeal the Administrator’s decision regarding eligibility for the Base Payment or the calculation of the First Nation’s damages which is equal to 50% of the total damages paid to individuals who were ordinarily resident on the First Nation’s reserve. 

To appeal the decision, the First Nation Band Council must send a written statement to the Administrator describing the reason(s) for appealing. Details on how to appeal the decision will be noted in the decision letter from the Administrator. 
Requests for appeals can be submitted by mail, email or fax. Please address the appeal to, “First Nations Drinking Water Class Action Administrator.”   

Mail:
PO BOX 160 Stn Adelaide
Toronto, ON  M5C 2J2 
Canada 

Email:
firstnationswater@deloitte.ca

Fax:  
647-738-5206 
   
Once received, the Administrator will forward the request to the Third-Party Assessor for review. 

Some First Nations applied to be part of the Settlement just before the claims period closed on March 7, 2024. As a result, some communities may be added to the list of Impacted First Nations after the claims deadline, and individuals have been given a limited extension to the deadline for submitting claims.

The specific deadlines for each newly added First Nation Reserve is six weeks after the date it was added to the Settlement. More detail is available in the Court Order.

If you have questions about how Impacted First Nations are determined, please contact Class Counsel toll-free at 1-833-265-7589 or by email at counsel@firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca.

While the deadline for regular claims submissions has passed, some First Nations were recently included in the Settlement and individuals have been given a limited extension to the deadline for submitting claims.

If you lived on one of the First Nations that was recently added to the Impacted First Nations [LINK] list during a long-term drinking water advisory between November 20, 1995 and June 20, 2021, there is still time apply for compensation.

Individuals can apply for compensation by submitting a Claim Form to the Administrator by 11:59 PM PDT on the closing date noted for their First Nation Reserve, which is based on when it was added to the Impacted First Nations list.

Claim Forms can be submitted by email, mail or fax.

More information about the First Nations reserves recently added to the Settlement, including specific deadlines, can be found at Impacted First Nations.

Help and Supports