Notices to Self Represented Claimants

Freeze Lifted: Estate Claims can only proceed in specific circumstances

January 29, 2015

A freeze on estate claims in the Independent Assessment Process has been lifted following decisions in several important IAP cases by Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro.

The cases involved IAP claims by estates on behalf of claimants who had passed away.

Depending on the evidence available, it can be very difficult to pursue an estate claim.

Only the executor or administrator of an estate can pursue an estate claim. This person is called the estate representative. Pursuing an estate claim is complex. For this reason, the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat recommends that that all estate representatives hire a lawyer.

An estate claim is only possible where there is acceptable evidence to prove the claim. There are three ways this can happen for an estate claim:

  • if the claimant has already had their IAP hearing before passing away;
  • if the claimant has previously given meaningful and reliable sworn evidence with the participation of Canada; or
  • if there is eyewitness testimony.

Only the executor or administrator of an estate can pursue an estate claim. Counsel who represented a claimant who passed away does not automatically represent their estate. The estate must hire the lawyer or retain a new lawyer if they wish to do so. The executor or administrator may represent the estate on a self-represented basis, however the Secretariat recommends that all estate representatives hire a lawyer.

The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat has established new procedures for Estate Claims in the IAP. See Information Sheet on Estate Claims.

The Secretariat has an Estate Claims Coordinator who can provide information and answer questions about the procedures for estate claims.

Phone: 1-877-635-2648 and ask for the Estate Claims Coordinator


Notice to Counsel on Estate Claims

Support is available

Participation in the IAP can be difficult, especially if you have experienced a recent loss.

The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program provides mental health and emotional support services to former Indian Residential School students and their families before, during and after their participation in the IAP. A full range of services, including emotional support, cultural support, professional counselling, and funding for transportation are available.

For more information:

  • 24-hour crisis line: 1-866-925-4419
  • Information and referrals to health support services: 1-877-635-2648