News Releases and Media Advisories
Vancouver IAP Hearing room closes
August 7, 2019
Vancouver, August 7, 2019 – With fewer than 40 claims remaining to be resolved in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro today presided over a closing ceremony in Vancouver for the last hearing room used exclusively for IAP hearings.
“The wind down of the IAP has been underway for some time. This marks an important milestone in the work of the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat,” said Shapiro. “The conclusion of the IAP is now one step closer today with the closure of the Vancouver hearing room.”
The Independent Assessment Process was set up in 2007 under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to resolve claims of serious physical, sexual or emotional abuse suffered at Indian Residential Schools.
Since the Vancouver IAP hearing room opened in 2009, about 500 hearings have been held in the facility. The hearing room was designed to be a safe place for claimants to share the stories of the abuse they suffered with an adjudicator.
The facility includes a breakout room, where claimants could take a break from their hearing and meet with Elders, Resolution Health Support Workers and the family members or friends who support them. It is furnished with comfortable couches and cushioned chairs and culturally appropriate décor. It is one of two dedicated locations that were used for IAP hearings. The other, in Winnipeg, closed in 2016.
“We have resolved over 99.9% of the 38,000 claims from former students,” said Shapiro. “More than 89% of claimants have received financial compensation following their hearing.” To date the government of Canada has paid out over $3.1 billion in compensation for abuse suffered by students at Indian Residential Schools.
The Secretariat expects to complete the remaining claims by later this year or early next year. All of the work related to the IAP will be complete by the end of March, 2021, when the Secretariat will close, subject to Court approval.
The closing ceremony was attended by Eiders, Resolution Health Support Workers, counsel for claimants, staff members, stakeholders and others associated with the IAP. The last hearing was held at the Vancouver Hearing room in May 2017.
IAP Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro closes the Vancouver IAP hearing room at a ceremony on August 7, 2019, while Elder Charles Chapman (left) and IAP Oversight Committee chair Mayo Moran (right) look on.
Residential School survivors Sam George and Gertie Pierre sing during the closure ceremony for the IAP hearing room in Vancouver on August 7, 2019. Fewer than 40 of the 38,000 claims received in the IAP remain to be resolved.