Below is a list of articles, with summary, about Indian residentials schools, the IAP and other related news.
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Chief Robert Joseph was just two weeks shy of his seventh birthday when he was sent to residential school in Alert Bay, off of northern Vancouver Island.
Joseph was among more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children who were placed in 130 government-funded, church-run residential schools across Canada, the last of which closed in 1996.
Joseph is now the executive director of the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society, an organization that provides crisis counselling and support for residential school survivors. The group also focuses its work on education, and on increasing public awareness of residential schools and their lingering effects on many aboriginal families.
MEMBERS of Winnipeg's only aboriginal Catholic church are celebrating after news spread the woman after whom the church is named will be declared a saint.
The Vatican announced this week Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century Mohawk-Algonquin woman, will be canonized some time in 2012.
"This is exciting news for the parish," said Father Sebastian Susairaj of the Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Parish.
Susairaj said the canonization carries special meaning, given the church's role in the residential school system.
"This is another step forward for the church in its healing with First Nations communities," Susairaj said.
Preliminary hearing has been set for a former dormitory supervisor accused of abusing students years ago at a northern Saskatchewan residential school.
Paul Leroux, who is 70, faces 13 charges of indecent assault going back to the 1960s at the Beauval Indian Residental School.
B.C. has had many dark moments in its history, but few were as terrible as the time of residential schools.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hopes to help the healing process with a series of four regional hearings onthat begins in Port Hardy Feb. 27 to 28.
The $5 billion that’s been paid out to former residential school students will never compensate for the pain and suffering they experienced.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy said Canadians must understand the impacts the schools have had on Aboriginal people.
“We’re talking about institutionalization of over 100 years of our people – I don’t think any amount of money will begin to compensate the losses.”
Beardy said survivors lost their cultural identity because they were completely removed from their natural environment.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision that granted certification status to several residential school class action lawsuits against the federal government.
In Wednesday's decision, the court dismissed a federal government appeal of the class-action status decision.
In light of Wednesday's decision of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal to approve the certification of a class-action lawsuit involving former residential schools survivors in Labrador, Nunatsiavut's Minister of Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology is calling on the Government of Canada to change its position and include Labrador Inuit as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision that granted certification status to several residential school class action lawsuits against the federal government.
In Wednesday's decision, the court dismissed a federal government appeal of the class-action status decision.
A Newfoundland court has given the go-ahead to class-action lawsuits against the federal government that could involve as many as 6,000 former residential school students.
The government, however, contends it has no legal responsibility for any abuse suffered by the students in question because the schools existed before Newfoundland and Labrador joined Confederation in 1949.
The lawsuit could include thousands of former students, with as many as 4,000 who are constituents of the Nunatsiavut government. Nunatsiavut is an autonomous regional Inuit government within Newfoundland and Labrador.
The decision from the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal, released this Wednesday, upholds a previous lower court decision supporting the lawsuits.
The Advocacy and Public Information Program (APIP) has been given an additional $4 million by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
This brings the total amount of funds committed for APIP to $22 million over 5 years.
“Less than halfway through my life’s story, I realized the hard times I went through prepared me for looking after her.”
“Her” is Jennifer, the main character in Annis Gregory Aleck’s 679-page book titled Almost Born a Loser! A Sto:lo First Nation member from the Cheam Reserve in Rosedale near Chilliwack, Aleck has called Squamish home since 1991. It’s here that he found the inspiration to write his life story.
“I had a difficult home life because I was the first generation after the Indian residential schools,” said Aleck. “[My parents] lost their anger out on me.”
The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal has backed the certification of a class-action lawsuit involving thousands of aboriginal people who attended residential schools and allege they were unfairly excluded from a federal compensation settlement.
Wednesday's decision follows an appeal of a June 2010 decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court that gave the class action the go-ahead.
A history teacher from a Nepean school was among those honoured during a Dec. 12 ceremony at Rideau Hall.
Sylvia Smith, who teaches at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternate High School Program, on Rossland Avenue, was one of seven recipients of the Governor General's History Awards for Excellence in Teaching.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston presided over the ceremony at Rideau Hall, where Smith was recognized for her work with Project of Heart - an innovative program which explores the history and tragedies of the Indian residential schools.
A Saskatoon lawyer says she'll donate one-third of her fees from residential school abuse cases to set up a fund for victims in northern Saskatchewan.
"I know lawyers have a bad reputation out there," said Lisa Abbott, who is representing roughly 130 alleged residential school abuse victims. "I wanted to do things a little differently than others."
The Athabasca Healing Fund will launch early in the new year, she said. The non-profit corporation will help communities of northern Saskatchewan, many of them isolated. She hopes to leverage funds from companies and other individuals.
Sylvia Smith has received the Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching for Project of Heart, which educates youth about the inequalities of the residential school system, writes Hilary Duff.
Re: "Hobbema problems tied to parenting collapse; Band councillor sees 1980s oil cheques as source of troubles," The Journal, Dec. 18.
I commend Coun. Vernon Saddleback for his attempts to provide an explanation for the family and parental breakdown on his reserve. But his explanation is simplistic.
The fundamental role of residential schools in the destruction of the extended tight-knit native family structures that existed historically cannot be forgotten.
Across the country, survivors of Residential schools are beginning the difficult journey of healing from the painful legacy of their experiences. For many it's an uphill battle as they try to break the cycle of violence, poverty and addiction. For many, healing is about returning to their roots and rediscovering a deep and ancient heritage. CBC Yellowknife reporter Paul Andrew (who is also a former Chief) visited Fort Providence in the Northwest Territories. He meets there survivors of Sacred Heart; one of the country's oldest and most notorious Residential schools. (Introduction for video of 9:55.)
Re: "Dark secrets of residential schools to become part of national memory," Dec. 14.
While I applaud the current effort to inform the general public about the residential school disaster, it's simply not enough.
The ignorance of non-indigenous Canadians about this historical tragedy must be eliminated. The simple fact that there existed a conspiracy between the federal government and organized religion to intentionally eradicate First Nations' culture and language must be made known to all Canadians. Only then may this country begin to heal and understand why the many secondary symptoms of a broken culture came into being.
This topic truly is Canada's "dirty little secret," and if our education system continues to graduate generations that know nothing of our shared contribution to the current plight of First Nations communities, then our society as a whole shall suffer the embarrassing consequences.
Students who attended the Prince Albert Residential School in Saskatchewan are being asked to find their old yearbooks.
A genealogist is looking for them and she says they can be helpful when trying to prove attendance at residential schools.
APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo has this story. (Introduction for video of 2:05.)
Payments to former students of Indian residential schools have reached nearly $2.8 billion, but that amount doesn't even come close to compensating the tens of thousands of students harmed, says a survivor.
"These were genocidal practices," said Eugene Arcand, who attended schools in Duck Lake and Lebret.
"If your kids were taken from you for 10 or 11 years, is $43,000 enough (compensation)? Is that fair for what it cost me? My family? Of course it's not fair."
Roughly one-third of all residential school students attended Saskatchewan schools, Arcand said.
The total compensation could climb much higher before next September's deadline for abuse claims, known as the independent assessment process (IAP), Arcand and others predicted.
Joan Morris takes a deep breath and touches the small cross that dangles around her neck. She's determined not to cry.
But memories of the Nanaimo Indian Hospital stir up strong emotions in the Songhees First Nations elder.
Some former patients of the 200-bed Nanaimo Indian Hospital, which mostly treated tuberculosis, compare their experiences with those sent to residential schools. Stories about abuse and even experiments within the facility have spread through Vancouver Island First Nations communities over the years. In the past decade, Health Canada has been named in four lawsuits relating to Indian hospitals, two of which concern the former Nanaimo facility.
Local social workers say experiences from this facility, combined with bad memories of the residential school system, have helped fuel a distrust of hospitals and other medical institutions among First Nations people. Former patients are only now beginning to speak out.
A Lambton County woman was among 19 people honoured Wednesday with an Ontario Senior Achievement Awards, the province's highest recognition for seniors.
Susie Jones has worked more than 30 years on behalf of the Residential School Survivors of Canada's aboriginal community.
She also served on Walpole Island's first elected school board and as an elected trustee on the Lambton Kent School Board.
Campbell River and other Island communities will host Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) hearings in the new year.
"The Regional Hearings on Vancouver Island are just four of many that are happening throughout Canada leading up to national events. Justice Murray Sinclair, TRC Chair said this week. "The smaller hearings give survivors who may not be able to attend a national event a chance to still share their story. Each story has its own truth to it."
Campbell River will host a regional hearing March 1 and 2, just after the hearings kick off in Port Hardy on Feb. 27 and 28. Others will take place in Port Alberni (March 12-13) and Duncan (March 15-16).
An Anglican priest and social justice activist from South Africa has urged faith communities in Canada to "seize the moment" and take an active part in the public hearings of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The experience will be transformative and "life-giving," says Fr. Michael Lapsley, executive director of the Institute for Healing of Memories (IHOM) in Capetown.
Hyacinth Colomb, who died Monday at the age of 95, was one of those people for whom recognition extended far beyond his home community of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation.
To say he was recognized as trapper of the year or he was inducted into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, Manitoba's highest honour, fails to recognize that his achievements provide a time line for changes in the North over the past century.
Colomb was a survivor of the infamous Indian residential school system where his education was halved by duties slopping pigs and bailing hay in a quasi child-labour camp. But his parents, William and Helen, so valued education they made the two-week journey each way every summer with him to and from the school. Colomb would joke that by the time he got home every summer, he had to go back.
As Christians engaged in justice issues, some of us belonging to the churches involved in the residential schools, KAIROS Halifax members welcomed the opportunity to attend the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission national event in Halifax. This was held as part of the TRC’s mandate arising out of the Indian residential schools settlement (2006).
Over four days, survivors of residential schools told their stories. We listened intently, becoming acutely aware of the intense emotions. The abiding pain of loss — loss of childhood, of family, of language, of culture, of roots, of innocence, of self-esteem, loss of trust in anyone or anything — was palpable. The intergenerational impact came through powerfully: Such losses resulted in the inability to live as whole persons, which in turn led to addictions, neglect of children, a deep sense of helplessness and incapacity to act.
We left the event humbled by all we had witnessed and hopeful for future reconciliation.
But there is a huge contradiction with current reality! How can Canadians possibly say we seek reconciliation when we collectively continue to abuse and oppress the indigenous peoples of Canada in so many ways?
Memories and legacies from the five Vancouver Island residential schools will be at the heart of a regional event to be hosted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Victoria next April.
The event will be a chance for all Canadians, both aboriginal and nonaboriginal, to learn about the legacy of the residential school system, said Commission chairman Justice Murray Sinclair.
There are probably about 2,500 residential school survivors on Vancouver Island, but with friends, families and members of the public, the message should reach at least 25,000 people, he said.
The regional event, to be held at Victoria Convention Centre April 13 and 14, will follow community hearings in Port Hardy, Campbell River, Port Alberni and Duncan. A national event will be held in Vancouver in 2013.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) held a press conference today with First Nations Leaders and Mayor Dean Fortin to announce that the TRC will host its first Regional Event, April 13-14, 2012 in the City of Victoria, BC.
The TRC’s Regional Event in Victoria will provide more than 2,000 survivors from Vancouver Island (and adjacent islands) with the opportunity to reflect and share their experiences with the TRC.
In her recent article in Indian Country Today, Lisa Balk King reports hearing a non-Indian in Rapid City scoff, “You were conquered, get over it!”
I don’t purport to speak for all Indian people here in the U.S. but I think I can say that overall, it’s been tough to bounce back from the whole conquest thing. It’s been the gift that just keeps on giving for many of us. The legacies of European conquest in the form of United States policies such as The Dawes Act, Relocation, forced sterilization, assimilation through relocation, forced attendance at government boarding schools and adoption of our children to say nothing of outright extermination have made a lasting impact on Native peoples.
So it stuck in our craws when last month President Obama failed, once again, to make the United States apology to Native Americans public.
La Commission de vérité et de réconciliation du Canada a tenu aujourd’hui une conférence de presse, en compagnie de dirigeants des Premières nations et du maire Dean Fortin, pour annoncer qu’elle tiendra son premier événement régional, à Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique, les 13 et 14 avril 2012.
L’événement régional de Victoria offrira à plus de 2 000 survivants de l’île de Vancouver (et des îles voisines) l’occasion de réfléchir ensemble et de raconter leur expérience à la Commission.
Ottawa teacher Sylvia Smith was honoured with a Governor General's Award Monday for creating a teaching tool now used across the country.
Smith, who teaches at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternative School, developed an interactive way to tell the story of Canada's history with residential schools.
Guys I had to post this, if this is not evidence that evil, cold blooded monsters run our nations, I don't know what is. I wanted to cry listening to this. (Introductory Remarks for a 19:41 video.)
The call to move beyond the Indian Act is not a response to the current situation in Attawapiskat. It is a response to 150 years of a failed system and failed outcomes for First Nation citizens and all Canadians. And it’s nothing new.
In 2008, Canada made a commitment to reconciliation. This included an apology by Parliament for the Indian residential school system, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. More recently, in 2010, Canada endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These are signals of a willingness for change and provides a guide for our work. Now the real work begins.
Overcoming decades of failed approaches will not come overnight, but through a systematic approach we are and we will achieve significant change. First Nations are advancing clear plans in a number of priority areas. And, while no one individual, political party or generation created today’s challenges, we must all come together to address them head on and move forward. This generation has the opportunity to achieve real change and real reconciliation.
Sylvia Smith is one of six teachers who was to receive the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching during a Monday morning ceremony at Rideau Hall.
The award is to recognize Smith’s Project of Heart, an interactive program that aims to educate young students about the inequalities suffered by Aboriginal groups in residential schools. Project of Heart is now being taught in classrooms and community groups across the country.
On Dec. 10, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), I usually write a blog regarding human rights across the globe and how we people of the earth are being treated by our governments. This year, however, I want to focus on a single national issue. This issue came to me in a surprising way, namely, a documentary by two young German film makers about an old friend of mine and what he does each day for his fellow aboriginal peoples. His name is Larry Morrisette and he works in the north end of Winnipeg, Canada. The film is called We Will Be Free by Max Fabian Meis and Ferdinand Carrière of Downsideup Film Productions.
With their own money, Max and Ferdinand produced a film that highlights the present day woes and struggles of indigenous people of Winnipeg. In very simple and powerful images of the Canadian people and its physical beauty, the film captures the need for the attention of the Canadian government to do more for the indigenous people who live in their cities. Why this need? The answer is simple. Residential schools, which lasted until 1996, did irreparable harm to many and that damage still exists today in the major cities of Canada.
A woman from Saskatchewan is receiving one of Canada's top teaching awards for a project she created to educate students about the impacts of Indian residential schools.
Sylvia Smith will receive a 2011 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching in Ottawa on Monday morning. She is one of seven teachers across the country to be honoured this year.
Smith grew up in Allen, Sask., and currently teaches at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternative High School in Ottawa.
She created Project of Heart, an educational toolkit that helps students understand the history of residential schools.
Sylvia Smith, for her work as coordinator of Project of Heart, will be presented with a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching on Monday.
Project of Heart is a hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational, inter-institutional artistic endeavour that commemorates the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the Indian Residential School experience.
The second Peace Through the Arts Fall Festival was held at South Delta Baptist Church in Tsawwassen Nov. 4 and 5. It was aimed at helping west coast native peoples find healing through drama, poetry, music, and dance, said Rennie Nahanee, coordinator of First Nations Ministry for the Vancouver archdiocese.
The arts, he told The B.C. Catholic, are able to touch deeply buried human emotions. This can be extremely helpful to aboriginal people suffering trauma stemming from childhood years at Indian Residential Schools.
“Through our response to the arts we can uncover deeply buried memories, including festering wounds which keep First Nations, Inuit, and Metis school survivors anchored in the past. Healing can only begin when hurts are exposed. The arts can help confront issues which may have troubled them their whole lives.”
The Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre recently held their annual language keepers conference.
This year’s theme was honouring residential school survivors, many who are trying to relearn their Indigenous language they were once forced to forget.
APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo has this story (2:15 video).
Manitoba chiefs pleaded this morning for the government not to proceed with an omnibus crime bill they say will further the legacy of residential schools in Canada.
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak spoke at a press conference on Parliament Hill asking Canadians to show compassion and seek an inclusive society that makes investments in education and builds houses not prisons.
"I’m standing here today to make a plea to all Canadians for sensibility," said Nepinak. "Sensibility and to make a concerted effort to strike down bill C-10."
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into Canada’s 130-year history of residential schools for native children may not have enough money to finish the job.
The commission was set up in 2008 with a five-year mandate and a $60-million budget. After an initial false start, the commission is now scheduled to produce a final report by 2014.
“The original amount set aside in the Settlement Agreement may need to be revisited,” said the commission’s most recent annual departmental performance report to the Treasury Board.
In his report TRC chair Justice Murray Sinclair cites “the scope of time, places and people affected by residential schools... the number of records to be collected from approximately 100 or more separate archives and... the cost of holding community events” as reasons the commission may need more funding.
Mohawks from the Six Nations territory in
Surveying the land that surrounds a former residential school that once housed children from Six Nations, Bill Squire says it’s believed that a bone fragment from a child has been found.
“We’ve been involved on the grounds for the missing children we believe that are buried here,” said Squire.
Wilton Littlechild is facing an uphill battle. He is one of three commissioners appointed to Canada’s ongoing Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC was created as part of the federal government’s 2006 settlement agreement with a recognized 80,000 survivors of Indian residential schools. Collecting statements about life in residential schools is emotionally taxing, but Littlechild is more anxious about how to heal wounds through understanding the past and creating a future where First Nations are viewed as equals in Canadian society.
A TRC is not a traditional judicial hearing, nor a forum for retribution. The purpose is to gather as much of the story as possible from all parties involved, usually granting a level of amnesty to perpetrators in exchange for unreserved testimony. The theory is that all parties will gain greater understanding of the situation and be able to heal old wounds.
What happened at the indian boarding schools?
One of my most enduring political memories occurred during the 1995 referendum campaign. The 16,000 Cree Indians in and around James Bay illuminated their resistance to Quebec's separation from Canada with a reminder that the fate of Quebec's remote, undefended (and indefensible) hydro-electric facilities was theirs to command. Their not-so-veiled threat awoke me to the obvious fact that Canada's great territorial mass, a bulwark against external menace, also makes it vulnerable to domestic insurgents.
Most of Canada's energy and transportation hubs run through native lands. Revanchist natives sometimes taunt Canadians with merely inconvenient road and rail blockades; yet these also semaphore the real economic disaster they could inflict on us if they chose to wage an actual sustained campaign of violence and disruption. Covert, sometimes overt, intimations of an approaching crisis speckle the discourse. Recently, for example, Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said, "Canadian society must heal the damage caused by the Indian residential school system or deal with the violence that will be undoubtedly unleashed against it."
I’m an angry Indian,” Roger St. John, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, told the First Nations Repatriation Institute’s second annual adult adoptees summit. The elite panel included child-welfare specialists, judges, lawyers, community activists and scholars. The most important experts, according to the organization’s founder/director, Sandra White Hawk, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, were adult adoptees—such as St. John—who related their experiences at the three-day meeting at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in St. Paul.
St. John’s experience was replicated all over Indian country in the mid-to-late 20th century. The boarding-school era that had begun in the late 1800s was winding down and the abusive residential schools set up to isolate and assimilate Native children were being closed down or turned over to the tribes, a process that was largely completed by the 1970s. Meanwhile, another means of separating Native children from their communities was gathering steam.
The Indian Adoption Project was a federal program that acquired Indian children from 1958 to 1967 with the help of the prestigious Child Welfare League of America; a successor organization, the Adoption Resource Exchange of North America, functioned from 1966 until the early 1970s. Churches were also involved. In the Southwest, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints took thousands of Navajo children to live in Mormon homes and work on Mormon farms, and the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations swept many more Indian youngsters into residential institutions they ran nationwide, from which some children were then fostered or adopted out. As many as one third of Indian children were separated from their families between 1941 and 1967, according to a 1976 report by the Association on American Indian Affairs.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University sociology students will once again invite Native Elders, leaders, and Indian residential school survivors to educate community members about the ongoing consequences of colonial oppression for Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation process that has begun in Canada. "Reconcile This: Telling Truths About Colonization, Indian Residential Schools and Violence Against Native Women in Canada" is the fourth of a series of public education symposiums that invite the public to contribute to local and national dialogue about colonization, social justice, and reconciliation.
Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, declared earlier this week "that Canadian society must heal the damage caused by the Indian residential school system or deal with the violence that will be undoubtedly unleashed against it."
As alarming as that sounds, Canadians seem as oblivious to the plight of aboriginal people as they are to their own vulnerability should aboriginal anger boil over into insurrection. Imagine what would happen, for example, were "warriors" to roadblock every intersection of the Perimeter Highway. Imagine how quickly such actions could escalate from anger to outrage to violence. Now imagine what might be done to prevent it.
Quite clearly, Canadians are not much interested in fixing the consequences of the residential schools era any more than they are interested in fixing the deplorable conditions on First Nation reserves, home to more than 300,000 native Canadians.
But why should Canadians rush to redress these matters, what certain benefits would flow to the larger Canadian society if they were fixed?
Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is facing higher than expected costs, so is calling on Ottawa to provide more funding or scale back the panel's responsibilities.
Manitoba Justice Murray Sinclair, who chairs the commission, told CBC News the costs of gathering former students' statements and collecting documents have been higher than anticipated.
"This commission cannot do all of the things that you've asked us to do with the resources that you've given us. Understand that and be prepared to live with it when the crunch comes," Sinclair said from his office in Winnipeg.
"So either reduce your shopping list or give us more money."
The government expects roughly 29,000 former residential school students to apply for their alternative resolution process, which will hear claims of abuse outside a courtroom setting.
But community leaders predict the number of applicants looking for compensation will be much higher.
A total of $227.6 million compensation has been paid to 1,669 B.C. first nations residential school abuse claimants out of the 3,200 who had applied up until the end of September.
When the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was signed in 2006, the budget for compensation of former students who were abused was $960 million. To date $1.1 billion has been spent across the country, under the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) set up by the agreement.
Across Canada 21,074 people have made IAP applications, and 29,000 people are expected to apply before the deadline of Sept. 19, 2012 - more than double the number originally anticipated.
That means the total payout to survivors of physical or sexual abuse at residential schools is likely to hit $2.6 billion, IAP chief adjudicator Daniel Ish said recently.
The legacy of residential schools continues to haunt their victims, like Executive Director Ted Quewezance of the National Residential Schools Survivors Society, who shared his experience at the 2011 First Nations' Language Keepers Conference on Thursday afternoon.
Update for November 30, 2011:
The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat has posted updated statistics including details such as the amount of claims received and total compensation distributed from September 19, 2007 to November 1, 2011:
Total number of claims received as of November 1, 2011: 23,903
Total number of claims In Progress: 10,796
Total number of claims Withdrawn and/or Ineligible: 2,281
Total number of ADR/IAP Settled and Decisions Rendered: 10,826
Total Compensation as of November 1, 2011: $1,241,096,278
The update can be viewed at www.iap-pei.ca.
The next status update will be available on December 7, 2011.
Spencer Bear was trying to do the least harm necessary to his victims when he broke into a downtown apartment building and entered any unlocked apartments he found to steal items while the residents slept.
He was trying to get money to feed his drug addiction and he regrets his actions, Saskatoon provincial court heard Wednesday.
Nevertheless, his long criminal record called for a jail term, said Judge Rosemary Weisgerber, who sentenced Bear to 12 months incarceration.
Defence lawyer Cathy Bohachik asked the court for a break for her client, who has spent much of his life incarcerated and has reached a point where he knows he needs to deal with his drug addiction.
She referred to a pre-sentence report that "finally" gave some insight into Bear's history, including the eight years he spent in a residential school, which made him "terrified" to go back to school. That decision to drop out led to a life on the streets and, ultimately, a life of crime.
In the year 2000, Ron Horsefall was faced with a hard choice: Sober up or die.
March 14, 2000 is a date Horsefall will always remember because it was the day he chose to turn his life around.
"It's quite amazing when I look at my life that I'm alive and sober," said Horsefall, who is from Pasqua First Nation and currently lives in Vancouver. "A lot of the people I used to drink and drug with - They're all dead - and they died in such tragic ways."
As a child, Horsefall endured residential school and sexual and physical abuse. After residential school, his life began spiralling out of control and he resorted to the extensive use of drugs and alcohol. In December of 1996, Horsefall was diagnosed with AIDS.