Independent Assessment Process (IAP) Fact Sheets
Alleged Perpetrators and the Independent Assessment Process (IAP)
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) gives certain rights to people who are named as alleged perpetrators in Independent Assessment Process (IAP) applications. Alleged perpetrators are sometimes called “persons of interest” or “POIs.”
The Government of Canada will attempt to locate and contact alleged perpetrators. If an alleged perpetrator is found and wants to participate, the alleged perpetrator must provide a witness statement and agree to appear at his/her hearing to provide oral testimony.
Rights of alleged perpetrators in the IAP:
- An alleged perpetrator is entitled to be notified of the claimant’s name and the allegations the claimant made against them in the IAP application, but will not be given the claimant’s location or contact information.
- An alleged perpetrator may choose not to participate. In this case, an alleged perpetrator may choose not to participate. The alleged perpetrator may also choose not to be advised of the claimant’s name or the allegations against them.
- An alleged perpetrator is entitled to participate in the IAP by submitting a written statement in response to the allegations, and by attending his/her hearing.
Notifying alleged perpetrators of their right to participate in an IAP claim is the responsibility of the Government of Canada, not the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat.
Information about the alleged perpetrator
Whether or not the alleged perpetrator chooses to participate in the IAP, the government will provide records relating to the alleged perpetrator and their role at the residential school. These reports will be given to the adjudicator and to the claimant’s lawyer (or to the claimant, if they are self represented).
The alleged perpetrator is not allowed to attend the claimant’s hearing, unless the claimant gives permission.
If the claimant’s testimony about the abuse is different from the application form, the adjudicator will prepare a summary to give to the alleged perpetrator. No other information from the claimant’s hearing will be shared with the alleged perpetrator.
Alleged perpetrator hearings
The alleged perpetrator’s hearing is held on a different day and often in a different location than a claimant’s hearing. A claimant does not have to attend the alleged perpetrator hearings, but has the right to attend if they want to hear the alleged perpetrator respond to the allegations.
Who will receive the decision?
The claimant will receive a copy of the adjudicator’s decision, but the names of any alleged perpetrators will be removed. Only the names of alleged perpetrators who have been criminally convicted will be included in the decision. Claimants are free to discuss the outcome of their hearing, including the amount of any compensation awarded.
Alleged perpetrators who participate will receive a copy of the adjudicator’s findings about them. The alleged perpetrator will not be told the amount of any compensation awarded to the claimant.
What will happen to the hearing transcript?
All hearings are recorded, and the adjudicator may require a transcript to help her/him write the decision. A transcript will also be needed for a review, if requested. The claimant can request a copy of their own statements (transcript), if they wish. The alleged perpetrator is not entitled to a copy of the claimant’s hearing transcripts, and the claimant is not entitled to a copy of the alleged perpetrator’s hearing transcripts.
Are those who are named as alleged perpetrators ever charged?
The IAP is separate from any criminal proceedings. The IAP is a compensation process for cases of abuse at Indian Residential Schools, not a criminal process. The IAP uses the civil burden of proof, called a “balance of probabilities,” not the criminal standard of proof required for prosecution in a court of law. If the adjudicator awards compensation, it will be paid by the Government of Canada, not the alleged perpetrator. Claimants who wish to file criminal charges against an alleged perpetrator should speak with their lawyer, or if they do not have a lawyer, should talk to the police.
Health Support Information
If the claimant feels anxious or unwell and needs to talk to someone, Aboriginal counsellors are available 24 hours a day for a confidential conversation at 1-866-925-4419.