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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Supreme Court upholds residential school compensation for former studentPublication: APTN News -
The Supreme Court of Canada says a former residential school student is entitled to compensation for abuse, in a decision that helps clarify the scope of appeals in such cases.
“It’s a win but it’s a narrow win,” said Richard Olschewski, a Winnipeg-based lawyer who represented an Indigenous claimant known only as J.W.
“Without a doubt this decision is going to have greater effects on the clarity of the law with respect to other IAP (Independent Assessment Process) decisions.”
SCC sets guidelines for class actions involving an adjudication processPublication: Canadian Lawyer Magazine -
A former Indian residential school student who brought an individual claim for compensation for sexual abuse has had his award restored, in a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada today that may influence future class action lawsuits involving an adjudication process.
In J.W. v. Canada (Attorney General), the majority of the Supreme Court found that judicial intervention was necessary in the face of an unauthorized modification of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, contrary to the intentions of the parties.
In 2014, the appellant, J.W., brought a claim for compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, claiming that a nun had touched his genitals while he stood in line waiting for a shower in a Manitoba residential school. The facts of the case were not in dispute.
At issue in the case was the right of review by a supervising judge, i.e., whether a judge was permitted to intervene in an adjudicator’s decision.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Says Supreme Court Win in Residential Schools Compensation Case - A Victory for Justice and for Survivors of the Indian Residential SchoolsPublication: Canada Press Newswire -
OTTAWA, April 12, 2019 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde called today's ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in J.W. v. Canada (Attorney General) an important victory that helps ensure fairness and justice for survivors of the Indian residential schools. The AFN was a party in the case, arguing on behalf of survivors and for the fair application of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), negotiated by the AFN.
Supreme Court of Canada Bulletin - April 2019 - Appeal allowedPublication: lexology -
On appeal from a judgment of the Manitoba Court of Appeal (Monnin, Beard and leMaistre JJ.A.), 2017 MBCA 54, setting aside a decision of Edmond J., 2016 MNQB 159.
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”) represents the negotiated settlement of thousands of individual and class action lawsuits relating to the operation of residential schools. Nine provincial and territorial superior courts approved the Agreement. The Agreement includes a procedure for settling individual claims through an adjudicative process — the Independent Assessment Process (“IAP”). The IAP describes which harms are compensable. The Agreement also includes a system of internal reviews. There is no right of appeal to the courts. However, supervising judges from each province oversee the administration and implementation of the Agreement.
W brought a claim for compensation in accordance with the IAP, alleging that an incident he suffered while attending a residential school constituted compensable sexual abuse within the meaning of the IAP. W’s claim was rejected by the initial adjudicator because, despite the fact that she believed W’s account of what transpired, she was not satisfied that the perpetrator acted with a sexual purpose, which she concluded was an essential element in order to demonstrate that the incident was compensable. W was entitled to two levels of internal review, both of which were unsuccessful. Having exhausted his internal remedies, W brought a Request for Directions (“RFD”) to a supervising judge, pursuant to the Agreement. The supervising judge found errors in the adjudicator’s interpretation of the IAP warranting judicial intervention and remitted W’s claim for re‑adjudication. A reconsideration adjudicator allowed W’s claim, and awarded him compensation. Before the reconsideration decision was implemented, Canada appealed the supervising judge’s decision. The Court of Appeal found that there was no basis upon which the supervising judge could intervene, and overturned his decision.
Top court sides with residential school sexual abuse survivorPublication: iPolitics -
The Supreme Court of Canada has restored an award of $12,720 to a former residential school student who had his compensation claim denied after being sexually abused by a nun.
Years of listening to residential school survivors taught Eleanore Sunchild not to fear the truthPublication: Saskatoon Star Phoenix -
For more than a decade, the Cree lawyer listened to the stories of residential school survivors, carefully recording the details of the physical and sexual abuses they suffered at the government-run institutions.
The documentation is part of the Independent Assessment Process that needs to be completed in order for survivors to collect compensation through the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which came into force in 2007.
Many people who came to Sunchild’s office on Poundmaker II, roughly six kilometres south of the Town of Battleford, told her they had never spoken about their experiences before.
Sunchild accepted the stories without judgement. As survivors talked, she saw they were healing themselves in the process.
Survivors of Indian Day Schools meeting Thursday on class-action suitPublication: Times Colonist -
Survivors of federally run Indian Day Schools are meeting with their lawyers today at #3 Boat Ramp Rd. on the Tsartlip reserve.
Day schools are distinct from residential schools in that students went home at night, but students still dealt with abuse.
About 200,000 students went to more than 700 day schools.
Indian Day School settlement: survivors perspectivesPublication: The Hill Times -
We know this proposed settlement sgreement is not a meaningful step towards reconciliation. We know we can do better. We know we are entitled to a fair agreement built on our legal traditions, restorative justice and fairness. We have to stop holding out hope that it will come to us. Now we know we have to fight for it, as we always have.
'We have been fighting a long time to be heard, so our stories too will reach each other and other Canadians. We are fighting to be respected, so the dignity that was stripped from us is returned. We are fighting to heal ourselves and our communities. We are fighting for fair treatment,' write Alice Margaret Wuttunee, Gavin Baptiste, Gerald Wuttunee, and Carl Ninine who were all in Saskatchewan Indian Day schools. Photograph courtesy of Commons Wikipedia