Notices to Counsel
Updated School Narrative for St Anneâ€™s (Fort Albany) Indian Residential School
August 20, 2014
Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled on January 14, 2014 that certain documents related to St. Anneâ€™s IRS in Fort Albany Ontario be released by Canada and by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) for use in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP). The documents relate to OPP investigations and criminal trials conducted in the 1990s.
To satisfy the requirements of paragraph 6 of the court order, Canada provided the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat with a large volume of information (over 10,000 documents totaling over 40,000 pages; over 10GB of electronic data) relating to St. Anneâ€™s IRS. In order to ensure that counsel are themselves able to make determinations regarding possible relevance, the Secretariat has made the full suite of documents relating to St. Anneâ€™s IRS available to counsel who have, or previously had, IAP files involving St Anneâ€™s IRS. These materials are also available to adjudicators.
These documents accompany the School Narrative for St. Anneâ€™s IRS that was revised by Canada as of August 1, 2014, in compliance with paragraph 7 of the Court Order. The Secretariat has made the revised School Narrative accessible to parties as part of the standard evidentiary package as of August 1, 2014 for cases where an IAP claimant attended St. Anneâ€™s IRS.
Canada was also required by the terms of the Court Order to amend its Persons of Interest (POIs) reports for St. Anneâ€™s IRS by August 1, 2014. Canada has indicated that documents for specific claimants or POIs will continue to be transmitted to the Secretariat for distribution via regular evidentiary packages.
The Secretariat has made all documents produced as a result of the Court Order, as well as the revised School Narrative for St. Anneâ€™s IRS, available via a specialized module of the IAP Decisions Database.
Counsel who at any time represented claimants who attended St. Anneâ€™s IRS have been granted access to this module of the IAP Decisions Database, and can now access the documents.
If you have any questions about, or would like to request access to the IAP Decisions Database, please email IAPS_Chiefadjudicatorsoffice@irsad-sapi.gc.ca.
Use of St. Anneâ€™s documents at hearing
If it is the intent of claimantâ€™s counsel to refer to any of these new materials at the IAP hearing, counsel will be asked to advise the adjudicator and other parties in advance of the hearing as to which specific documents, including document and page numbers, they intend to rely on, and the purpose for which they intend to rely on such documents.
Justice Perell made it clear in his decision that the Court will not give direction to the adjudicators regarding admissibility or relevance of any of the materials. The formal Court order arising from Justice Perellâ€™s Directions states:
- 9. THIS COURT ORDERS THAT the adjudicators of the IAP have the exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the admission of and use to be made of evidence for the IAP
It is important to remember that the IAP does not require corroboration of claimantsâ€™ testimony, and that the vast majority of cases are decided without resorting to similar fact evidence or corroborating testimony.
Canadaâ€™s representatives and claimantâ€™s counsel are asked to play a proactive role in putting forward particular documents that may have relevance to a claim.
In order to prevent or minimize delays of hearings, pre-hearing teleconferences will be convened for all pending St. Anneâ€™s hearings, until further notice.
Notice to Self represented claimants: