French versionEnglish version

News Feed

In the News - Archives: 2013-12


Below is a list of articles, with summary, about Indian residentials schools, the IAP and other related news.

Please follow the link to the original story for the complete article.

This information may not be available in your language of choice as it comes from third party sources.

Articles

St. Anne's Residential School Survivor Wants Justice From Ottawa

Published: December 18, 2013 - Added: December 18, 2013 - Publication: The Huffington Post

Link http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/18/st-annes-residential-school-edmund-metatawabin_n_4464319.html

 

Former students of St. Anne's Residential School in Fort Albany, Ont., say their dispute with the federal government over disclosure of documents shows true reconciliation is a long way off.
 
Edmund Metatawabin, 66, is one of several survivors pushing for the government to release documents they say would corroborate their claims of abuse.
 
Those horrific accounts formed the basis of a five-year provincial police investigation.
 
Out of that came trials and several convictions of former staff and supervisors.
 
Survivors say it is those police and court documents that will help back up their claims for compensation under the residential settlement agreement.
 
At first, the federal government said that it had no obligation to get those documents for the claims process, but it turned out the government had possessed them since 2003.
 
"All we want is justice," he said. "All we want is movement that will make me feel 'Oh, finally it's over. Finally it's over. They believe me.'"

Nativity: The Story of Whistle-blower Kevin Annett and the “little matter of genocide”

Published: December 18, 2013 - Added: December 18, 2013 - Publication: Dissident Voice

Link http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/12/nativity-the-story-of-whistle-blower-kevin-annett-and-the-little-matter-of-genocide/

 

One of the most articulate and knowledgeable persons that I know, Kevin was willing to talk to anyone who would listen to him reveal the dirty secret that official Canada is still trying to keep covered-up.
 
The dirty secret, the “little matter of genocide”, about which the United States of America shares considerable guilt, is the century-long history of abuse, rape, and murder of tens of thousands of its aboriginal children in church-run Indian residential schools and mission schools, a subject on which Kevin is an acknowledged world expert.
 
Kevin has also authored two books on the subject. (Read excerpts from his most recent book, Hidden no Longer: Genocide in Canada, Past and Present.)
 
The film (and a short book by the same name) powerfully documents the history of the genocide and what happened to Kevin, his marriage, his family, and his ministry when he refused to keep quiet about his church’s crimes. So, shortly after Kevin challenged a secret land deal involving stolen native land that was negotiated between his church (the United Church of Canada [UCC]), the provincial government and church-funder, MacMillan-Bloedel Ltd., he was fired from his parish without cause and eventually expelled from the UCC without due process.
 
Of course there was also the mainstream Canadian media and the Canadian public, who have been, as usual, fast asleep on the subject of anything indigenous or genocidal for the past 20 years since the whistle was first blown.
 
But the story also has to deal with a little defrocked shepherd boy/pastor who has the most lethal, long range, accurate weapon on earth, The Truth, which is especially potent when it hits us in the middle of the forehead.

St. Anne's Residential School survivor says Ottawa hiding evidence

Published: December 17, 2013 - Added: December 18, 2013 - Publication:

Link http://

 

St. Anne's Residential School survivors were in Ontario Superior Court today in a bid to get the federal government to release documents the former students say would help corroborate their claims of abuse.
 
The documents they want are from a five-year Ontario Provincial Police investigation in the 1990s, as well as files from the subsequent trials that resulted in several convictions against school staff and supervisors.
 
Under the residential school settlement, former students can make a claim for compensation through the independent assessment process (IAP). In a private hearing, they tell their stories to an adjudicator. 
 
The adjudicator is meant to have information on the school, known perpetrators and convictions in advance. However, until recently, the information provided on St. Anne's said there were no known incidents of sexual abuse at the school, despite the police investigation and trials. 
 
'They're hiding evidence,' survivor says
 
Fay Brunning, a lawyer representing some of the former students, said she pointed this out to the government. At first, the federal government said it had no obligation to get the files from provincial authorities. But Ottawa had obtained many of the files 10 years ago and still has them.
 
"What's happening is individual people are going in and they're basically having to start from scratch with every adjudicator every time, because this entire body of evidence has not come forward," Brunning said in an interview with CBC News.
 
The government has amended the St. Anne's "narrative" for adjudicators to include all the known convictions, but only did so after the battle over the documents began.
 
"It is Canada's position that such evidence is both inadmissible and irrelevant in the context of an IAP claim," the submission said, adding that the extra evidence is also not necessary for a former student to make a successful claim when St. Anne's former students have so far had a very high claim success rate.
 
"There is no practical requirement for corroborative evidence in respect of alleged acts of compensable abuse."
 
Brunning disagrees.
 
"The federal government has a duty to disclose all documents in its possession that contain allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the school. There's no exceptions," she said.
 
The Canadian Press reported the hearings were twice interrupted when a reporter objected to a request by lawyers for the government and the adjudicator to impose a publication ban and sealing order on materials filed in the proceedings — including those already on the public record.
 
Justice Paul Perell issued an interim order sealing most materials to allow time to hear proper arguments on the issue.
 
The independent assessment process was supposed to be non-adversarial. But survivor Metatawabin says this dispute shows him the government sees itself as a defendant.

Victims of notorious residential school in court to access police documents

Published: December 17, 2013 - Added: December 18, 2013 - Publication: The Star

Link http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/12/17/victims_of_notorious_residential_school_in_court_to_access_police_documents.html

 

Former students of the notorious St. Anne’s residential school will be in a Toronto court this morning fighting for access to police and court documents which could support their abuse claims.
 
The aging survivors, who allege physical and sexual abuse, want access to the documents, which were produced during a five-year OPP investigation into former workers and supervisors at the school. That investigation concluded in 1999 with several criminal trials and convictions.
 
“We are here in Ontario court to demand the federal government stop undermining the rights of survivors, to work with the survivors, and to finally bring a close to this terrible chapter in Canadian history.”

Photo Galleries Alvin Fiddler says 'no reason to deny' residential school documents

Published: December 17, 2013 - Added: December 18, 2013 - Publication: CBCNEWS

Link http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/alvin-fiddler-says-no-reason-to-deny-residential-school-documents-1.2467287

 

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Deputy Chief Alvin Fiddler says it’s time for the federal government to allow former residential school students access to the information they need.
 
The former students are looking for police documents created during the criminal investigation into abuse at St. Anne’s School in Fort Albany, Ont. to corroborate their cases for the civil claims in the reconciliation process.
 
“We wrote a letter to the provincial privacy commissioner and we got a response this morning from the privacy commissioner's office saying there really is no reason these records should be denied to the students,” Fiddler said Monday.
 
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Deputy Chief Alvin Fiddler says the government has claimed disclosure of police records would violate privacy rights. He says a letter received Monday from the privacy commissioner disagrees with that assertion.

Ottawa thwarting access to records in residential-schools case, court told

Published: December 17, 2013 - Added: December 18, 2013 - Publication: The Globe and Mail

Link http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-thwarting-access-to-records-in-residential-schools-case-court-told/article16006224/

 

Survivors of a notorious residential school in Northern Ontario were in court Tuesday fighting the federal government for access to thousands of documents they say are crucial to their compensation claims.
 
The survivors accuse Ottawa of hampering their bid for financial redress by hiding documentary evidence related to a provincial police investigation into St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany.
 
The police probe in the 1990s turned up evidence of horrific abuse, including use of an electric chair and led to criminal convictions.
 
The federal government has maintained it has no authority to turn over the police materials.
 
However, a lawyer for the Ontario Provincial Police told Ontario Superior Court he had no issue turning over the records – if authorized by the courts.
 
To settle a class-action suit arising out of the residential school system, the federal government apologized and set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to document the abuses.
 
As part of the process, an independent assessment process was set up to deal with compensation.
 
Lawyer Fay Brunning, who represents some St. Anne’s survivors, said the claims of her clients were being hampered by the lack of access to the police documents.
 
“The federal government is not abiding by conditions of the settlement,” Brunning said.
 
She noted the government went to court in 2003, long after the criminal trials were over, and sought a publication ban on the police documents pertaining to sexual and physical abuse at St. Anne’s.
 
“There’s relevant documentation missing that has not been produced,” Brunning told court.
 
“That interferes with the flow of justice.”
 
But Brunning also wants the court to issue a direction on how the documents should be used in the adjudication process, something the judge clearly had issues with.
 
“The court can’t interfere,” Justice Paul Perell said.
 
The hearings were interrupted when a reporter objected to a request by government and adjudicator lawyers for a publication ban and sealing order on materials filed in the proceedings – including those already on the public record.
 
The hearing continues Wednesday. The government said it was looking forward to Perell’s decision.

Parole denied for convicted killer involved in residential school claims

Published: December 14, 2013 - Added: December 16, 2013 - Publication: APTN

Link http://aptn.ca/news/2013/12/14/parole-denied-convicted-killer-involved-residential-school-claims/

 

Ivan Johnny isn’t going anywhere after the Parole Board denied his bid for release this week.
 
Johnny is the convicted murderer whose full parole was revoked in January after he was accused of extorting money from residential school survivors in British Columbia.
 
The alleged crime is still under investigation by the RCMP and the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat, which oversees compensation for survivors through a federal program called the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).
 
Johnny denied stealing money from more than 200 survivors, totalling thousands of dollars.
 
But allegations from the Secretariat were among the reasons Johnny’s parole was revoked. Board members heard the Secretariat had been probing survivors’ claims since 2010. Many survivors said they feared Johnny and were afraid to speak out while he was still in the community, but about a dozen swore affidavits alleging Johnny threatened and intimidated them into handing over a cut of their compensation payment from the government.
 
The total amount has not been made public but individual amounts missing were in the $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 range.
 
The parole officer said RCMP were still on the case, although she heard they were having trouble interviewing some witnesses due to their “vulnerable” background.
 
Johnny said he wouldn’t hurt survivors, instead he was helping them. “Nobody does nothing for survivors,” he said, adding they were intimidated by IAP officials into saying bad things about him.
 
But McRae challenged that. “I can see one or two, but all?”
 
The IAP compensates them for the most serious physical and sexual abuse. So it has horrified them and their supporters to learn some were allegedly re-victimized by Johnny.
 
Meanwhile, he has been barred from any further IAP work, but the lawyer has not. Bronstein’s cases are being reviewed by IAP officials, as is his relationship with Johnny, but a judge has not stopped him from continuing with IAP work. No one with a criminal record, like Johnny, is allowed to be part of IAP cases.

 


Residential school students’ bodies ‘were experimental materials’: Mosby

Published: December 11, 2013 - Added: December 12, 2013 - Publication: Alberni Valley News

Link http://www.albernivalleynews.com/news/235498331.html

 

Early researchers viewed students from Alberni Indian Residential School as bodies to be experimented on and the school as a laboratory, researcher Ian Mosby said.
 
Former AIRS students came from as far away as Alberta and Northern B.C. to attend a special one-day AIRS Nutritional Experiments Forum, which was hosted by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and Tseshaht First Nation.
 
The event sought to provide information to students about nutritional experiments performed on them by researchers in the 1940s and 1950s.

Court ruling expected to speed up residential school lawsuit

Published: December 11, 2013 - Added: December 12, 2013 - Publication: Kamloops News

Link http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20131211/KAMLOOPS0101/131219957/-1/kamloops01/court-ruling-expected-to-speed-up-residential-school-lawsuit

 

The chief of the Tk’emlups Indian Band applauded the Federal Court’s decision rejecting a request by the Government of Canada that churches be added to a class action lawsuit by residential school day students.
 
“Justice (Sean) Harrington clearly understands the importance of this case to our people and is sending a strong message to Canada that we can no longer tolerate delays in bringing this matter to a resolution,” he said in the release
 
The TIB and Sechelt Indian band launched a joint lawsuit in August 2012 to seek compensation for those who attended residential schools during the day. Ottawa has provided compensation for those who were in residence at the schools, but not day students.

Canada's hidden tale of shame: Goar

Published: December 10, 2013 - Added: December 11, 2013 - Publication: The Star

Link http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/12/10/canadas_hidden_tale_of_shame_goar.html

 

Between 1955 and 1985, thousands of aboriginal children were taken from their homes by child welfare authorities without the consent of their parents. Under the cover of child protection, they were “adopted out” to white families or placed in nonindigenous foster homes. To ensure they never came back, death certificates were issued expunging any record of their aboriginal existence.
 
Most of the adoptees — now in their 40s and 50s — are unaware of their aboriginal heritage and have no connection to their biological parents — exactly as Ottawa and the provinces intended.
 
Brown Martel clung to that fragment of knowledge, living as the daughter of a white family in Trent River, 180 km. east of Toronto. She subsequently moved to Texas with her adoptive mother. Today she is chief of the Beaverhouse First Nation and the initiator of a class action lawsuit against the government of Canada. The charge: Cultural genocide.
 
What is at stake, says Deputy Grand Chief Denise Stonefish of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, is nothing less that the modern-day equivalent of the Indian residential schools. “Placing our children in nonindigenous environments and households was a way for the government to continue with its assimilation policy.”

Quebec Mohawks honour residential school victims

Published: December 10, 2013 - Added: December 11, 2013 - Publication: CBC News

Link http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-mohawks-honour-residential-school-victims-1.2459029

 

Members of the Mohawk community in Kanesatake gathered Tuesday morning to remember children who were sent away to residential schools by unveiling two plaques — one in Mohawk and one in English.?
 
Marie Wilson from the Native Truth and Reconciliation Commission says the federal government put thousands of children in danger by sending them to residential schools.
 
"This is a story about Canadian children in the tens-of-thousands and what we as a country and we as a society allowed to happen to them," said Wilson.

Framed apologies could cost Prairie South School Division more than $1,000

Published: December 03, 2013 - Added: December 09, 2013 - Publication: Moose Jaw Times Herald

Link http://http://www.mjtimes.sk.ca/News/Local/2013-12-03/article-3528990/Framed-apologies-could-cost-Prairie-South-School-Division-more-than-$1,000/1

 

The resolution encouraged every publicly funded school in the province to frame and place the federal government’s June 2008 statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential schools in a prominent place within their respective buildings.
 
Lew Young was one of three trustees who questioned the particular relevancy of erecting the apology in PSSD schools.
 
Tim McLeod echoed Young’s concerns. The Moose Jaw-based trustee said it would be more pertinent to make sure students are taught about what happened in regards to residential schools in the context in which it occurred.
 
Add to it that each framed apology would cost the PSSD about $35 roughly $1,120 across the division and skepticism for doing so remains high amongst board members.
 
“If you talk about the ($35) per photo frame, it’s over $26,000 that it would cost to put that in every school in the province,” McLeod stated. “Twenty-six thousand dollars is a lot of money to go towards curriculum development on that particular issue.”
 
Crabbe doesn’t want people to think what happened in residential schools shouldn’t be recognized, but like McLeod, he too believes the money can be better spent elsewhere.

Canada's truth commission learned from Mandela, says head

Published: December 07, 2013 - Added: December 09, 2013 - Publication:

Link http://

 

Aboriginal Canadians have shared in the struggles Nelson Mandela faced in his fight for racial equality, says the head of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
 
Manitoba Justice Murray Sinclair, whose commission is compiling a national record of the Indian residential school era, says the anti-apartheid leader understood what aboriginal people suffered in that chapter of Canada's history.
 
Canada, South Africa both have truth commissions
 
Mandela helped establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which sought to record human rights violations from all sides of the apartheid struggle, but also had the power to grant amnesty to those who committed abuses.
 
The Canadian government created its own Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008 as part of a major settlement agreement with former residential school students.

Forum to probe experiments on Alberni residential school children

Published: December 05, 2013 - Added: December 09, 2013 - Publication: Alberni Valley News

Link http://www.albernivalleynews.com/news/234683481.html

 

Despite the bounty, AIRS students resorted to eating others’ leftovers and even garbage because their daily food portions were minimal at worst and bland at best, Fred said.
 
The lack of food at AIRS wasn’t an anomaly. It was part of something more sinister.
 
Last spring University of Guelph researcher Ian Mosby revealed that more than 1,300 students were test subjects in a decade-long experiment about the effects of malnutrition on residential school students.
 
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) wants answers about the long-term effects of the experiments and it wants to help create the “what’s next” chapter about the issue.
 
The NTC and Tseshaht First Nation are hosting a one-day forum about the experiments on Wednesday, Dec. 11 for survivors, health professionals and counsellors. The forum is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Maht Mahs Gym.
 
More than 200 people have already registered to attend.
 
The federal government has said that compensation was already paid to students as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement agreement, something Fred disputes. “No one knew about those experiments yet when those payments were made so how could that be?”

Crown seeks 11-year sentence for residential school sex abuse

Published: December 06, 2013 - Added: December 09, 2013 - Publication: CTV News

Link http://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/crown-seeks-11-year-sentence-for-residential-school-sex-abuse-1.1577472

 

The Crown argued for an 11-year-sentence, but Leroux, who acted as his own lawyer, said that was too harsh for crimes that happened so long ago.
 
Last month, a judge convicted Leroux on 10 of 17 charges involving boys at the school -- eight counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency
 
The judge will sentence Leroux on Dec. 12.

Abuse of day scholars ignored by federal government, says FSIN

Published: December 04, 2013 - Added: December 05, 2013 - Publication: LEADER-POST

Link http://www.leaderpost.com/Abuse+scholars+ignored+federal+government+says+FSIN/9244213/story.html

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations is leading the charge against the federal government for overlooking a whole section of residential school students - day scholars.

 

Jonathan said the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) and the national apology to residential-school survivors completely overlooked day scholars. Although there is a provision that day students could submit certain IAP claims, such claims are usually rejected.
 
"There has been no justice," said Jonathan. "Claims often don't meet the legal test are immediately denied by the government."
 
She said the IAP system has not done anything for certain residential school survivors.

Residential Schools Day Students To Launch Class Action Lawsuit

Published: December 04, 2013 - Added: December 05, 2013 - Publication: Huffington Post

Link http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/04/residential-schools-day-students-class-action_n_4044481.html

 

Lawyers representing groups of former day scholars from the Tk'emlups and Sechelt bands say an application to certify a class action lawsuit will be filed in federal court sometime this month.
 
Chief Shane Gottfriedson of the Tk'emlups Band near Kamloops, B.C., says if the suit is approved, he's hoping it will be joined by thousands of day students who were sent to residential schools operating across Canada for more than 120 years.

Moving forward on native reconciliation

Published: December 04, 2013 - Added: December 05, 2013 - Publication: The Catholic Register

Link http://www.catholicregister.org/news/canada/item/17298-moving-forward-on-native-reconciliation

 

The Moving Forward Together Campaign is asking Catholics across Canada to take that first step toward a new relationship between the Church and aboriginal Canadians. On Dec. 7-8 the campaign will distribute collection envelopes in the parishes.
 
The parish collections are one small part of the residential schools settlement. The courts had asked the Church to make its best efforts to collect $25 million for healing and reconciliation programs over five years.