Abuse at Native residential schools in Canada
Government apology & compensation
According to Wikipedia:
"In 1998, the [federal] government made a Statement of Reconciliation ? including
an apology to those people who were sexually or physically abused while
attending residential schools ? and established the Aboriginal Healing
Foundation. The Foundation was provided $350 million to fund community-based
healing projects focusing on addressing the legacy of Indian residential
schools. In its 2005 budget, the government committed an additional $40 million
to continue to support the work of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation."
In mid-1999, the federal government decided to try another method of avoiding
the litigation process. They
are seeking a series of out-of-court group settlements. Each of these might include
all of the students abused at a single school, or all of the victims who live in
a given community. Shawn Tupper, Senior Advisor with the Indian Affairs
Department, said: "We are looking for groups with shared interests."
As of 2000-APR-14, the federal government is faced with
close to 7,000 claims. Most allege abuse at schools run by Roman Catholic or Anglican groups.
are approximately 350 claims against The United Church of Canada. In most cases
the United Church is named as a co-defendant with the federal government. As
well, principals and former workers in the schools are sometimes named as
defendants. Some of the claims name specific acts of sexual and/or physical
abuse. The larger number of claims focus mainly on loss of language and culture
as a result of the residential school experience...The Presbyterian Church,
which was involved in two schools following 1925, has a fewer...claims."
Government compensation package:
According to Wikipedia: On 2005-NOV-23,
"... the Canadian government announced a $1.9 billion compensation package
to benefit tens of thousands of survivors of abuse at native residential
schools. National Chief Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations
said the package covers, 'decades in time, innumerable events and countless
injuries to First Nations individuals and communities.' Justice Minister
Irwin Cotler called the decision to house young Canadians in church-run
residential schools 'the single most harmful, disgraceful and racist act in
our history.' At a news conference in Ottawa, Deputy Prime Minister Anne
McLellan said: 'We have made good on our shared resolve to deliver what I
firmly believe will be a fair and lasting resolution of the Indian school
"The Settlement Agreement in May 2006. ... [proposed], among other things,
some funding for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, for commemoration and for
a "Truth and Reconciliation" program in aboriginal communities, as well
as an individual Common Experience Payment (CEP). Any person that can
be verified as attending a federally run Indian residential school in Canada
is entitled to this Common Experience Payment. The amount of
compensation is based on the number of years attended by a particular former
student of residential schools: $10,000 for the first year attended plus
$3,000 for every year attended thereafter."
"The Settlement Agreement also proposed an advance payment
for former students alive and who are 65 years old and over as of 2005-MAY-30.
The eligible former students had to fill out the advance payment form
available for download on the IRSRC website to receive $8,000 that was
deducted from the Common Experience Payment. The deadline for reception
of the advance payment form by IRSRC was 2006-DEC-31."
"Following a legal process including an examination of the Settlement
Agreement by the courts of the provinces and territories of Canada, an
'opt-out' period occurred. During this time, the former students of
residential schools could reject the agreement if they did not agree with its
dispositions. This opt-out period ended on 2007-AUG-20."
- "Canadian Indian residential school system," Wikipedia, 2009-MAR-15, at:
- "Residential schools update," 2001-APR-14, United Church of Canada,
Copyright © 2000 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-JUN-03
Latest update: 2009-MAR-16
Author: B.A. Robinson