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Claiming for abuse by other students

Abuse by other students and the Independent Assessment Process (IAP)

The IAP is an out of court, alternative dispute resolution process. It resolves claims of abuse suffered at an IRS, including when students abused other students. The process is meant to help you get a fair and lasting resolution for the legacy of your suffering as a former IRS student.

The IAP is part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (SA) signed in May 2006. The Government of Canada signed this agreement with former IRS students and their lawyers as well as with legal counsel for the Assembly of First Nations and the churches which administered the schools.

Under the SA the Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS) independently administers IAP claims in a fair and impartial manner.

Claiming compensation for student abuse

In order to receive compensation, there are special rules in the IAP when a claimant was abused by another student:

  • For physical abuse and lower level sexual abuse your claim must show that:
    • an adult IRS employee knew or reasonably should have known about the abuse or abuse of the kind at the school; and,
    • staff did not take reasonable steps to prevent the abuse.
  • For predatory or exploitative sexual assaults, it is up to the Government of Canada or the church that ran your IRS to prove “reasonable supervision” was in place at the time.
  • For any abuse by another student to be compensated in the IAP the abuse must have occurred on school premises.

Based on your claim, IRSAS will follow compensation rules that define how much you will receive. This will be according to a scale that recognizes both the abuse and the effects of the abuse on your life.

Will the alleged abuser be contacted about my claim?

Former IRS students have the right to know about allegations made against them in any IAP claim. Here’s how it works:

  • If the alleged abuser is deceased or cannot be located, your hearing will go ahead without the participation of the alleged.
  • If the Government of Canada finds the alleged abuser, it will ask if the alleged wants to participate in the hearing.
  • If the alleged abuser chooses to participate, the government will provide a summary of your claim’s allegations. This summary will include your name, but not your current address or how you have suffered.
  • If the alleged abuser wants to give evidence, a separate hearing will be held. You and the alleged abuser will not meet unless you want to.
  • The alleged abuser does not have the right to participate in your hearing.
  • An independent adjudicator asks all questions during the hearing. There is no cross-examination.

Do I need a lawyer for my claim?

The IAP is based on complex legal concepts and processes.

This is why every party who signed the SA encourages you to hire a lawyer to help with your IAP claim. Once you have legal counsel, it is the lawyer’s responsibility to present everything needed to support you claim. To find a lawyer with experience working with IAP claims, go to

Is there anything else I need to know?

You can get more information by visiting or calling toll-free 1-877-635-2648.

June 2011