In the News
Below is a list of articles, with summary, about Indian residentials schools, the IAP and other related news.
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We had to listen and learn says Ontario's law society of working with Indigenous clientsPublication: APTN News -
The Law Society of Ontario knows it has to do better for Indigenous clients after an independent review found problems with the way it worked with residential school survivors, says its treasurer. “We had to listen and learn,” said Paul Schabas.
A 60-page report posted to the Society’s website Wednesday exposed “gaps and failings” when it came to serving survivors and the Indigenous community as a whole.
Schabas said the Society hired Indigenous leader Ovide Mercredi to work alongside its review panel to write the report. And the changes they recommend will begin immediately, he added in a telephone interview...
...Mason, president of the national survivors’ organization Spirit Wind, says he fielded many complaints from survivors about the way lawyers handled compensation claims through the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) for abuse suffered at residential schools.
Ovide Mercredi report rips Ontario Law Society on handling of Keshen filePublication: APTN News -
Residential school survivors were failed by the Law Society of Ontario when it came to handling their complaints against a lawyer, says a scathing new report.
“The days of the status quo or business, as usual, will not lead to reconciliation,” concludes Ovide Mercredi, a lawyer and former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, who penned the review for the Society.
“The range of issues brought to my attention went deep into the impact of the Residential Schools on personal lives, the shortcomings of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the Law Society’s regulatory and hearing processes.”
Residential school victims lose document fight - Appeal Court sides with OttawaPublication: CTV News -
Survivors of the notorious St. Anne's residential school have no right to documents they argued were crucial to compensating them for the horrific abuses they suffered, Ontario's top court has ruled.
In rejecting a trio of interrelated appeals, the Court of Appeal found no reason to interfere with a lower court decision that sided with the Canadian government's view the documents should be kept secret.
The materials in question were generated during 62 lawsuits filed between 2000 and 2003 by 154 Indigenous children over the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at St. Anne's in Fort Albany, Ont.
St. Anne survivor dismayed by court ruling to keep files sealedPublication: Timmins Press -
Angela Shisheesh says her hopes were crushed Monday when an Ontario appeals court upheld a lower-court decision denying St. Anne's survivors access to court transcripts from a 2003 civil case that would have been used to reaffirm the abuse Indigenous children experienced at the residential school.
The appeal was launched by a group which included Edmund Metatawabin, a Fort Albany resident and the coordinator of the St. Anne's Residential School Survivors Association....
“But the Crown is saying, there could be possible mediation. So we’re going to assist the survivors, and push the Crown and the government to get to the table to mediate this because this is all part of healing and reconciliation, but it’s also part of truth telling, and these people need to be believed and that’s the support we’re going to provide them going forward.”
St. Anne s residential school survivors lose what could be final battle with Ottawa over documentsPublication: CBC News -
An Ontario appeals court ended Monday what could be the final battle between St. Anne's Indian Residential School survivors and Ottawa in their years-long legal war over documents key to compensation claims.
The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed an attempt by St. Anne's survivors to overturn a lower court decision that kept transcripts from a civil case that ended in 2003 from being turned over for use in residential school abuse compensation cases.
In a unanimous ruling, the appeal judges upheld the decision by Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell that the discovery transcripts from the civil action launched in Cochrane, Ont., were covered by settlement privilege and did not have to be turned over.
We got abused, then robbed: Residential school survivors critical of compensation after Ontario rulingPublication: CBC News -
Jenny Spyglass wishes she could forget the day she walked in on a priest raping her sister, Agnes.
"I'm a little better now, but I hate thinking about it," Spyglass, 76, said in an interview with CBC News.
It's not the only traumatic memory of her time at Delmas Indian Residential School — little brother Reggie dying of tuberculosis, older brother Martin left outside to suffer massive frostbite to his hands, Spyglass herself being locked for long periods in a dark, concrete basement, and the near-starvation rations of oatmeal, beans and biscuits....
...Like more than 30,000 residential school survivors, Spyglass and her surviving siblings applied for compensation under a national program.
They were awarded between $10,000 and $20,000 each.
"We got abused, then robbed. I guess there's nothing we can do about it now," said Spyglass, who now lives in North Battleford, Sask., and took up powwow dancing late in life as one way to heal.
Spyglass and others heard reports this week of a record $2.5 million awarded to an Ontario man who was abused by a priest at a Sudbury boy's school....
Spyglass and others say they feel sorrow for the man, who endured the same abuse they did. Spyglass said any abuse victim deserves "every penny" of compensation.
But they wonder why residential school abuse survivors got so much less....
...Sunchild and Merchant noted it's too late for many residential school survivors to use this Ontario precedent. More than 98 per cent of claims have been resolved under the national Independent Assessment Process.
Courts tell residential school survivors they didn t go to a residential schoolPublication: UC Observer -
In 2016, Theresa Henderson sat in the gallery of a Winnipeg courtroom and listened to a lawyer describe the residence where Henderson had spent one and a half years as “home away from home.”
The lawyer had her back turned. She was speaking to the judge, explaining how the Teulon Residence should not be considered a residential school, and therefore Canada had no obligation to the students who had lived there.
“The Government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the Aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly,” Harper said. It never occurred to Henderson that her experience might not count.
Survivors set to give offender second chancePublication: APTN News -
A man suspected of extorting money from residential school survivors is being released on day parole with their support, APTN News has learned.
The revelation about Ivan Johnny, who was serving time for first-degree murder in British Columbia, is contained in Parole Board of Canada documents shared with APTN Tuesday.
The documents say the 68-year-old will be released on several conditions to seek treatment at a community residential facility before returning to live on his First Nation.
APTN has followed this case since 2012. It was one of several dysfunctional incidents that revealed a glaring gap of oversight in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), which paid survivors compensation for severe physical and sexual abuse.
Le Parlement invite le pape Ã demander pardon aux AutochtonesPublication: Lapresse -
Les députés aux Communes ont adopté mardi une motion qui demande au pape de présenter ses excuses pour les sévices subis par les enfants autochtones dans les pensionnats gérés par des institutions catholiques. Peu avant Pâques, les évêques catholiques canadiens avaient fait savoir que le pape ne présenterait pas, pour l'instant, pareilles excuses.
Le Nouveau Parti démocratique (NPD) a donc pris l'initiative d'en appeler directement au pape. La motion, débattue la semaine dernière, a été soumise au vote mardi après-midi et adoptée sans difficulté...
Texte de la motion
Que, pour répondre à l'appel de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation visant à faire avancer notre nation sur le chemin d'une véritable guérison pour les crimes de l'époque des pensionnats autochtones, la Chambre:
(a) invite le pape François à participer à ce cheminement avec les Canadiens et les Canadiennes en répondant à l'appel à l'action numéro 58 du rapport de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation et à présenter des excuses papales officielles pour le rôle qu'a joué l'Église catholique canadienne dans la mise en place, les opérations et les sévices des pensionnats autochtones;
(b) demande à l'Église catholique canadienne de respecter son obligation morale ainsi que l'esprit de la Convention de règlement relative aux pensionnats indiens de 2006, et de redéployer tous les efforts possibles pour amasser le montant total des fonds convenus;...
Reconciliation movement launches at longhousePublication: Coast Reporter -
Former shíshálh Nation chief Garry Feschuk, who is recovering from a stroke, sat under two totem poles inscribed with legends of his people at the shíshálh Longhouse. Next to him stood his project partner, Cam Reid, a former Sechelt mayor and RCMP staff sergeant. The unlikely pair is spearheading what they call Syiyaya Reconciliation Movement, and on April 25, more than 200 people joined them at the longhouse to launch it.
...In 2012, a class action lawsuit was launched by the shíshálh Nation and Kamloops (tk’emlúps) Nation to seek compensation for residential students and their descendants, as well as bands that housed residential schools in or near their communities. The lawsuit is intended for those left out of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class action settlement in Canadian history, because they or their descendants did not board at the schools but instead attended as day scholars. At the event, Feschuk spoke about the settlement, telling Coast Reporter afterwards, “It’s ongoing and we’re hoping to reach settlement soon.”
MPs vote overwhelmingly to call on Pope to apologize for church's role in residential schoolsPublication: CBC News -
By a vote of 269 to 10, MPs backed a motion today to invite Pope Francis to Canada so that he can apologize in person for the Roman Catholic Church's role in the Indian residential school system.
The ten holdouts were all Conservative MPs: David Tilson, Scott Reid, Brad Trost, Cheryl Gallant, Ted Falk, Kelly McCauley, Garnett Genuis, Harold Albrecht, Guy Lauzon and Bev Shipley. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was absent during the vote; he's addressing an Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que.
The motion, introduced by NDP MP Charlie Angus, also calls on the church to respect its "moral obligations" and the "spirit" of the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which included a pledge by the church to raise funds for survivors.
Class action may reach resolution in shorter timelinePublication: Law Times -
A $1.8-billion class action application launched in January accuses the federal government of segregating portions of Canada’s Indigenous population in “Indian hospitals” across the country between 1945 and 1981, where people were allegedly abused, confined and mistreated.
With a new class action developing, lawyers say they expect the hospitals case may reach resolution in a shorter timeline than previous cases involving Indigenous Canadians. ...
....The hospitals class action follows a settlement with survivors of the Sixties Scoop, which was announced in October and is worth about $800 million.
That case relates to an estimated 20,000 First Nations and Inuit children who were removed from their homes, losing their cultural identities.
Earlier, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement brought to an end a class action involving about 86,000 Indigenous children enrolled in the Canadian residential schools system.