A compensation program for survivors of Indian day schools in the country is now open for applications.

Under the settlement, survivors can apply for individual compensation for any harm caused by attending a federally run institution.

Starting in the 1920s, 200,000 Indigenous children attended over 700 Indian day schools, often suffering physical and sexual abuse.

The government expects thousands of Indigenous people across the country will be able to receive federal compensation from the settlement.

All survivors will receive a minimum of $10,000 in individual compensation, while people who endured more severe cases of abuse will be eligible for greater compensation.

The settlement that was approved by the Federal Court last summer, is also set to provide $200 million for community-based projects to support things like health and wellness programs, “truth-telling” events, and commemoration.

The funding will be administered by the McLean Day School Settlement Corp, who is currently working to develop guidelines and procedures for organizations to follow in applying for grants for projects. Those rules will be made public in the next few weeks.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister, Carolyn Bennett says the settlement is an important step towards healing and justice for survivors and their families.

The Indian day schools were run separately from the residential-school system. As a result, they were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement approved in 2006.