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In the News - Archives: 2017-04


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

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Articles

Law society discovers systemic weaknesses in protecting Indigenous people from unscrupulous lawyers

Published: April 26, 2017 - Added: April 27, 2017 - Publication: CBC

Link http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/law-society-indigenous-1.4085999

The Law Society of Upper Canada is reviewing its approach to handling complaints from Indigenous people who say they have been misrepresented by lawyers.

A recent case involving a lawyer from Kenora, Ont., "exposed serious systemic issues" in the law society's regulatory and hearing process when to comes to dealing with Indigenous complainants, according to a news release issued by the law society on Tuesday.

The case involved allegations from more than a dozen residential school survivors who alleged lawyer Doug Keshen, mishandled their claims, arranged high-interest loans for clients against anticipated settlement funds and transferred thousands of dollars from clients to himself.

Misconduct hearings began last summer and went on for months. At one point, Keshen filed his own complaint against the law society. Neither the law society, nor Keshen would reveal the details of that complaint.

The hearings came to an abrupt end on Tuesday when Keshen and the law society agreed to participate in a separate process called an Invitation to Attend. Through it, the parties came to a mutual agreement for Keshen to have his work regularly reviewed by the law society.


Court dismisses two claims launched by St. Anne residential school survivors

Published: April 25, 2017 - Added: April 26, 2017 - Publication: The Star

Link http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/25/court-dismisses-two-claims-launched-by-st-annes-residential-school-survivors.html

An Ontario Court has dismissed two claims by St. Anne's Indian Residential School survivors, saying no judicial probe is needed into the actions of the Canadian government because it did not hide 12,000 documents detailing abuse suffered while at the notorious school.

Survivors of the James Bay residential school have spent years trying to convince authorities that an investigation was needed regarding the access to 12,000 documents that were part of a lengthy criminal probe concerning abuse.

Ontario Superior Justice Paul Perell dismissed the claim concerning the 12,000 documents, known as the Cochrane documents, which are transcripts of confidential and privileged examinations for discovery of the testimony of nearly 1,000 St. Anne's survivors who suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse while at the school.

Perell said Canada has provided a "transparent explanation for why the balance of the Cochrane documents have not been produced. The documents are confidential and privileged," he wrote in his April 24 ruling.

The second dismissed claim requested a judicial investigation and an order extending the independent assessment process (IAP) deadline for former students of St. Anne's school who did not file an IAP claim, and an order reopening IAP claims. This was all denied. 


Douglas Todd: Residential school story becoming over-simplified, says chief

Published: April 21, 2017 - Added: April 26, 2017 - Publication: Vancouver Sun

Link http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-residential-school-story-becoming-over-simplified-says-chief

Though Joseph became an alcoholic after suffering abuse at St. Michael’s Residential School in Alert Bay, he worries Canadians are giving into black-and-white thinking about the defunct school system, which was attended by almost 140,000 aboriginals.

Joseph, for instance, would appreciate talking with embattled Senator Lynn Beyak. She caused a furor by saying, among other things, it’s unfortunate the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report didn’t include a focus on how some residential-school students had positive experiences and many continue to be Christians.  

Since early March, Beyak has been ridiculed for these remarks and others by noted politicians, pundits and aboriginals. Her Conservative party acceded to demands by removing her from the Senate committee on aboriginal affairs.

But Joseph doesn’t believe it’s wise to silence someone for just stating her position, whatever he thinks of it. “I think (Beyak) has a voice we need to reach out to. It might give us ideas about developing relationships with people no matter what camps they’re in.”


Feds release 1,200 pages of blacked-out emails about abuse at St Anne residential school

Published: April 12, 2017 - Added: April 18, 2017 - Publication: The Star

Link http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/04/12/feds-release-1200-pages-of-blacked-out-emails-about-abuse-at-st-annes-residential-school.html

The federal government is continuing to obstruct justice for the survivors of St. Anne’s residential school by “thumbing their nose” at the information commissioner and releasing 1,200 pages of almost entirely blacked-out documents, NDP MP Charlie Angus says.

Last week the justice department sent Angus’s office the first batch of some 70,000 pages of emails, speaking notes and memos related to the notorious residential school as part of an ongoing access to information request. The disclosure came after the federal information commissioner threatened to sue the government for originally refusing to disclose the documents.

But of those 1,200 pages, all but a handful have been stripped of any information beyond email addresses and the occasional emoji.

“This is clearly them thumbing their nose at the access to information law and the information commissioner who already threatened to take them to court,” Angus said.


Youths digest dark chapter in history

Published: April 15, 2017 - Added: April 18, 2017 - Publication: Chronicle Journal

Link http://www.chroniclejournal.com/news/youths-digest-dark-chapter-in-history/article_72923f3c-21cf-11e7-817c-8b4065bbaa2b.html

Westmount Public School students listened, learned and asked profound questions as they discovered the horrors of residential schools.

Teacher Jaime Murdoch at the school says the more the children learn and become interested in history, the harder their questions become.

So Murdoch invited Tricia Logan, from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, to come and speak to her classes in Thunder Bay.

Both Murdoch and Logan used the 10-song, digital download album Secret Path, by Gord Downie, with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire.


Sen. Lynn Beyak says silent majority supports her on residential schools

Published: April 05, 2017 - Added: April 07, 2017 - Publication: CTV News

Link http://http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/sen-lynn-beyak-says-silent-majority-supports-her-on-residential-schools-1.3356485

OTTAWA -- Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak says her party's decision to sanction her for comments about Canada's residential school history amounts to a threat to freedom of speech.

In a statement released Thursday, Beyak -- who was removed Wednesday from the Senate committee on Aboriginal Peoples -- says political correctness is "stifling opinion and thoughtful conversation."

She also says a silent majority of Canadians agree with what she said -- that there were "good deeds" and other positive elements that emerged from the country's residential school system.