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Indigenous Relations minister asks bishops to meet with residential school survivors over papal apology

Publication: CBC News - 27 avril 2018
Lien: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/carolyn-bennett-letter-meeting-bishops-survivors-1.4637125

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett is asking the head of the organization representing Canada's bishops to meet with residential school survivors to discuss Pope Francis's decision not to issue an apology for the institutions....

...The Pope's decision led to the NDP-authored motion debated in the House Thursday morning. A vote on the motion is expected as early as next Tuesday....

...The motion also calls on the Catholic Church to turn over all documentation requested by survivors and "resume best efforts" to finish raising funds agreed to as part of the residential schools settlement agreement....

...Under the agreement, the Catholic Church was required to make a cash contribution of $29 million, provide in-kind services for survivors worth $25 million and raise $25 million for healing and reconciliation programs.

The Catholic Church raised only $3.7 million. Following a 2015 court ruling, Ottawa agreed to release the Catholic Church of its legal liability five days before the current Liberal government took office....

...During the debate Angus asked Bennett to meet with St. Anne's survivors who are still in court battling Ottawa over the disclosure of discovery transcripts from a settled 2003 civil case in Cochrane, Ont.

Ottawa has successfully argued the records are covered by settlement privilege while the survivors say the records should be used as evidence in compensation claims. ...

...Bennett said she would consider engaging with the survivors and a third party to settle the outstanding legal issues related to St. Anne's outside the courtroom, said Angus.

27 avril 2018

Police files, historical documents show link between Catholic hierarchy and residential schools

Publication: CBC News - 25 avril 2018
Lien: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/residential-schools-letters-catholic-hierarchy-1.4635275

When the Ontario Provincial Police raided the Oblates of Mary Immaculate offices in Ottawa in 1995, they seized a number of documents including a file containing a memo written in Latin and addressed to the order's leadership in Rome.

The memo concerned a member of the order who was associated with St. Anne's residential school in Fort Albany, Ont.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has claimed in recent weeks, in defence of a statement that Pope Francis could not "personally respond" to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's request for an apology for residential schools, that the Catholic Church itself could not be blamed for the abuses committed at the institutions....

...Sadowski, who unearthed the documents as part of research aimed at supporting a failed court case to have the Fort William Sanatorium included as a residential school under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, said it's clear the Catholic Church and other religious denominations had a hand in inserting that section into the Indian Act.

26 avril 2018

Attempted murder linked to anger from residential school sexual abuse

Publication: Saskatoon Star Phoenix - 20 avril 2018
Lien: http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/sentencing-submissions-for-dale-ahpay-convicted-of-attempted-murder

When Dale Ahpay shot Devon Cyr in the face with a sawed-off shotgun, he was feeling a rage that stemmed from his childhood sexual abuse at an Indian residential school, his lawyer says....

...Ahpay was convicted of attempted murder and 11 weapons offences in December following a trial in October....

...Combe recommended his client be sentenced to 15 years, less the 34 months he has served on remand.

The first two years were spent in segregation, where Ahpay lived with the “demons” that are his memories of repeated sexual assaults by an adult who worked at the residential school where he started living at age six, Combe said.

Combe referred to the adjudicator’s report from an independent claim assessment process, in which Ahpay recalled feeling abandoned and punished by being forced to live at the school, where children were encouraged to fight among themselves. A male employee was kind to him and would rub his back, giving him the sense that somebody cared for him. The kindness was grooming for repeated sexual offences that included being forced to perform oral sex and being pinned down by the man, raped and left bleeding, court heard.


24 avril 2018

Sixties Scoop settlement a rotten deal for survivors but a windfall for lawyers

Publication: CBC News - 21 avril 2018
Lien: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/opinion-sixties-scoop-rotten-deal-for-survivors-1.4626936

Canadian taxpayers are once again being royally hosed in the proposed Sixties Scoop settlement which once again exploits Indigenous Peoples and enriches the lawyers.

I am one of those people who, as a child, was taken from my home community on the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory and placed in a series of foster homes, 15 in total, over a five-year period. I was shuffled from "homes" in Quebec and Ontario, staying for as long as a few months to a mere four days in one instance.


We were therefore shocked to learn on Oct. 6, 2017, that a preliminary settlement had been reached with the federal government without our knowledge or consent.


We also learned that there were four law firms ready to divide the $75 million set aside for legal fees and one of those was Merchant Law Group in Saskatchewan, the same lawyers accused by the federal government of excessive billing in the residential school settlement.

23 avril 2018

Decades after Ontario s Indian hospitals closed, survivors are still fighting to be heard

Publication: TVO - 18 avril 2018
Lien: http://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/shared-values/decades-after-ontarios-indian-hospitals-closed-survivors-are-still-fighting-to-be-heard

​In 1956, Saul Day boarded a train alone with a letter strung around his neck. The document confirmed that the 10-year-old was a student from McIntosh Residential School in Vermillion Bay, Ontario, and an active tuberculosis patient. He was heading from Sioux Lookout Indian Hospital to a sanatorium facility in the city of Fort William, which now forms parts of Thunder Bay.


Day believes that Fort William was effectively a residential school — functionally indistinguishable from the network of federal institutions now nationally understood to have been places of cultural genocide and horrific abuse.

For many members of the public, a major chapter in the residential-schools story seemingly ended with the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) in 2007. But survivors of places that fall outside the legal definition of “residential schools” are still fighting, with minimal legal resources, to have their abuse recognized.

19 avril 2018

Winnipeg lawyer loses appeal after facing discipline in residential school survivor case

Publication: CBC News - 07 avril 2018
Lien: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-lawyer-loses-appeal-residential-school-survivor-1.4595182

A Winnipeg lawyer who said he failed to respond to emails because they ended up in his spam folder has lost his appeal of a professional misconduct finding against him.

The Law Society of Manitoba reprimanded and fined Louay Alghoul after finding him guilty of professional misconduct for failing to respond to a series of emails sent to him by an adjudicator overseeing residential school survivor cases.

The lawyer appealed that decision in December. 

On March 8, Justice Michel Monnin of the Manitoba Court of Appeal decided to uphold the law society's original punishment, saying that Alghoul did receive the emails sent by the adjudicator and that the society's finding of professional misconduct was reasonable.

09 avril 2018