News Releases and Media Advisories

The IRSAS On Track to Complete Hearings

March 21, 2016

Regina (March 21, 2016) - The Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS) is on track to complete the vast majority of claimant first hearings in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) by the Spring of 2016, Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro announced today.

The IAP provides compensation to former students for serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse suffered at Indian Residential Schools.

“There are a small number of difficult claims for which it may not be possible to hold hearings by Spring 2016,” said Mr. Shapiro. “These include claims where hearings scheduled for this spring are postponed, claims that have been put on hold for a variety of reasons, estate claims, claims involving lost claimants, and unsubmitted Blott claims. In addition, there may be other cases that are referred to us by the courts.”

The IAP was established under the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. The IAP received 38,000 applications for compensation, close to three times as many as were expected. As of February 29 2016, the Secretariat has held more than 26,000 hearings and resolved over 90% of all claims. There are about 400 hearings remaining to be held.

Over the last several years the Secretariat has engaged in a number of strategies to ensure that stalled claims became hearing-ready. This included tracking down so-called “lost claimants,” helping claimants collect the documents required for a hearing, scheduling hearings even though all the required documents weren’t ready, and having adjudicators manage claims in advance of hearings to ensure they continued to progress.

“We know that our claimants are aging, so it’s important to give them a chance to tell their story at a hearing before they are too frail to be able to do so,” said Mr. Shapiro. It’s expected to take another two years until all of the claims are resolved.

Claimants who have not yet received a date for their hearings, or are unsure of the status of their claim should contact their lawyer. Claimants who have not hired a lawyer should contact their Claimant Support Officer. Claimants can also obtain an update on the status of their claim by calling the IAP Info Line at 1-877-635-2648.

Michael Tansey
Senior Communications Consultant,
Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat
(613) 851-4587 (cell)
(819) 934-1444
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