Notices to Self Represented Claimants
Accessing Public School records in Canada
October 27, 2015
In some IAP cases, a claimant may have difficulty in proving their attendance at an Indian Residential School. There are many possible reasons for this -- records may have been misplaced, destroyed in a fire or other calamity, or, in some cases, names may have changed. Incomplete or poor record keeping could also be to blame.
The absence of confirmed attendance records at an Indian Residential School can make it more difficult to prove a claim, but it is not an insurmountable obstacle for claimants seeking compensation in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).
In cases where attendance records cannot be located, it may be useful for the claimant to produce records showing that they were not in attendance at a public school during that time period. This is especially important in cases where attendance records for the residential school exist but the claimant does not appear on them.
To help establish a claimant’s presence or absence at other educational institutions, the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat has prepared a guide to obtaining public school records in Canada.
The guide provides specific direction to counsel or claimants on where to obtain public school records. It includes information on accessing school records in all jurisdictions in Canada, a summary of what is available in each province or territory, and contact information for each jurisdiction.
While this information may be useful in some claims, it is presented only as a tool. Whether counsel or claimants choose to use it is up to them; its usefulness may vary from case to case.