Nora Bernard – Mi’kmaq
In 1945 Nora Bernard, aged 9, attended the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School for five years.
Her mother signed the consent forms under threat that if she refused Nora would be seized by child welfare.
In 1995, Bernard started an organization to represent survivors of the Shubenacadie School and filed a class action lawsuit.
The suit demanded compensation for sexual and physical abuse, child labour, incarceration, and loss of language and culture.
Other survivors across Canada joined the lawsuit, until it grew to be the largest class-action lawsuit in Canadian history, representing more than 79,000 survivors.
The Canadian government settled the lawsuit in 2005 for upwards of 5 billion dollars.
Nora Bernard won justice for tens of thousands of survivors.