June 7, 2016
Winnipeg, June 7, 2016 – With fewer than 200 hearings remaining to be held in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro today presided over a closing ceremony for the Winnipeg Hearing Centre.
“Today marks an important milestone in the work of the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat,” said Shapiro. “We are taking another step in the wind-down process of the Secretariat by officially closing the Winnipeg Hearing Centre.”
Since the Winnipeg Hearing Centre opened in 2009, about 1,200 hearings have been held in the facility. The Centre includes two hearing rooms with associated family areas where claimants can take a break from their hearing, hold a smudge ceremony and meet with Elders, Resolution Health Support Workers and the family members or friends who support them. It is one of two dedicated locations for IAP hearings. The other, in Vancouver, remains available for hearings.
“To date, we have held over 26,000 hearings for claimants who submitted a claim for abuse at Indian Residential Schools under the IAP,” said Shapiro. “We have resolved over 91% of the 38,000 claims from former students.” To date the government of Canada has paid out over $3 billion in compensation for abuse suffered by students at Indian Residential Schools.
The Secretariat expects to complete the vast majority of hearings for claimants in the IAP within the next few months and finalize all post-hearing work and decisions by the spring of 2018.
“The Winnipeg Hearing Centre was designed to be a safe, comfortable, welcoming and culturally appropriate place,” said Shapiro. The entire area is decorated with original art on loan from the Aboriginal Art Centre.
The closing ceremony was attended by adjudicators, counsel for claimants, staff members, stakeholders and others associated with the IAP. The last hearing was held at the Winnipeg hearing Centre in May 2016.
Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro watches as Elder Garry Dano plays a healing song on the drum during the the closing ceremony for the Winnipeg Hearing Centre on June 7, 2016.
Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro discusses the impact that hearings have had on many claimants at the closing ceremony of the Winnipeg Hearing Centre on June 7, 2016
Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro says it took a lot of courage for many claimants to discuss the abuse they suffered at IAP hearings at the Winnipeg Hearing Centre
Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro says it was difficult for many former residential school students to to discuss the abuse they suffered at IAP hearings at the Winnipeg Hearing Centre
Senior Communications Consultant,
Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat
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