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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Healing through Reparations: Canadian Experience

Publication: Daily Mirror - July  31, 2018
Link http://

A source of great shame for Canadians, residential schools were meant to make indigenous children “more British”. From 1883 until 1996, the children were taken from their homes and placed in church-run schools far from their communities. The goal of the government-led residential school policy was to destroy the indigenous culture and language. During this time, it is estimated that 150,000 children were placed in residential schools and 6,000 of those children were killed. At the schools, indigenous children faced physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse from the staff.  

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) between residential school survivors, Ottawa, and the Crown was announced in 2006. IRSSA recognises the need for reconciliation and is made up of five components: the Common Experience Payment (CEP); Independent Assessment Process (IAP); the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC); Commemoration; and Health and Healing Services. ...

July  31, 2018

Kivalliq Hall qualifies for residential school settlements, Nunavut appeals court rules

Publication: CBC News - July  31, 2018

Students who lived at Kivalliq Hall in Rankin Inlet are eligible for residential school settlements, according to the Nunavut Court of Appeal.

Justices Patricia Rowbotham, Sheila Greckol and Jo'Anne Strekaf upheld a decision from 2016 to include the former student residence among a list of schools in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

"It has been a very long process," said Simeon Mikkungwak, who was part of the initial legal action.

July  31, 2018

Ottawa set to start negotiations with Indian Day School survivors: lawyer

Publication: APTN News - July  27, 2018

The law firm handling settlement discussions with Ottawa says negotiations on compensation for former Indian Day School students should begin soon.

“It’s early stages yet,” said Robert Winogron with Gowling in Ottawa.

“But we are seeking compensation – direct compensation – to individuals.”

The firm shared the news with chiefs at the Assembly of First Nations annual general assembly in Vancouver Thursday.

Winogron said negotiations will get underway with federal government representatives and Department of Justice lawyers now that Ottawa recognizes the class-action lawsuit has been certified.

July  30, 2018

Former Manitoba day school students seek class-action lawsuit over alleged abuse

Publication: Winnipeg Free Press - July  16, 2018

They were left out of national settlements for residential school survivors, but former students at Manitoba day schools are asking the court to allow a class-action lawsuit seeking compensation for alleged abuse they suffered at schools on- and off-reserve.

In a claim filed in Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench late last week, Winnipeg lawyers are asking the court to certify a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all students who attended day schools in the province.

As part of the claim, two Manitobans who attended different day schools in the 1960s and '70s have detailed their alleged physical and sexual abuse. They're seeking damages from the federal and provincial governments and the Catholic Church, which they allege failed to protect Indigenous children who were forced to attend the schools.

July  17, 2018

Court approves class-action lawsuit for Indigenous students who say they were abused at day schools

Publication: The Globe and Mail - July  08, 2018

Indigenous people who say they lost their culture and suffered physical and sexual abuse at government-funded day schools are calling for compensation in a Canada-wide lawsuit that has been certified as a class action.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit people who were forced, as children, to attend these schools say they suffered atrocities similar to those who went to residential schools. The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, has paid more than a total of $5-billion to residential school survivors.

Various attempts have been made over the years to obtain similar compensation for those who attended the day schools, which Indigenous children who were not part of the residential-school system were legally required to attend starting in 1920.

July  09, 2018

147 residential school survivors win chance at compensation

Publication: CBC News - July  03, 2018

More than 100 residential school survivors on the brink of being permanently barred from the compensation process will get a final chance to enter the system that determines payouts for abuse, under a court ruling issued Friday.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown ruled the 147 cases would be handed over to lawyers for review and then submitted to the process that determines whether they qualify for compensation by Sept. 14. 

July  04, 2018

Residential-school survivors claims must be reviewed BC court rules

Publication: Globe and Mail - July  03, 2018

Compensation claims of more than 100 residential-school survivors must be reviewed to determine if they have merit, a British Columbia court has ruled. The cases had previously been abandoned because their lawyer, who was disbarred in 2014 for his mishandling of similar cases, said they do not qualify for an award.

Ian Pitfield, who was appointed by the court in 2012 to disperse thousands of claims filed by clients of disgraced Calgary lawyer David Blott to other legal counsel, had asked the B.C. Supreme Court to prevent the claims from moving forward.

Although Mr. Pitfield said he had never reviewed the claims to determine if there was a reasonable likelihood of an award, he asked for 147 claims that Mr. Blott had marked “do not qualify” to be permanently withheld from the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), which sets the compensation levels for former students who suffered actual physical and sexual abuse.

July  04, 2018

How the legal system failed residential school survivors according to a major new report

Publication: TVO - July  03, 2018

The process that Canada followed to compensate Indian Residential School survivors was so flawed that it should be reopened, according to a Law Society of Ontario report, which also calls upon legal professionals to radically improve their competence in dealing with Indigenous clients.

The governing body for Ontario lawyers and paralegals commissioned a panel last year to advise the profession on how to better serve Indigenous people, with a particular focus on residential-school survivors. Ovide Mercredi, a lawyer and former Assembly of First Nations national chief, served as an independent adviser to the review panel, which released its 77-page report on May 24. The law society assembled the panel after it concluded a disciplinary process against  Douglas Keshen, a Kenora lawyer who had handled numerous residential-school compensation claims...

...The review panel found evidence of systemic dysfunction in the way Ontario’s legal profession has interacted with Indigenous people — particularly those who underwent the residential-schools compensation process. “[The process] did little to satisfy the individual hopes for closure and settlement,” Mercredi wrote. “The majority of the [individuals] interviewed believe, and for good reasons, that the awards they received were very low and did not compensate them based on their stories.”

July  03, 2018