Self-represented claimants


The Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS) independently administers Independent Assessment Process (IAP) claims in a fair and impartial manner. This applies equally to claimants who have legal counsel and those who represent themselves.

All of the parties’ to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (SA) encourage you to hire a lawyer to help with your IAP claim. However the decision to represent yourself or to hire a lawyer is your choice. Keep in mind, however, that the IAP involves 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.

Can I choose to represent myself for my IAP claim?

The decision to represent yourself or to hire a lawyer is your choice. To date, about 8% of claimants have chosen to represent themselves. However, a self-represented claimant can choose to hire a lawyer at any point during the process.

If I choose to represent myself, how does the process start?

The process starts when the IRSAS Admissions branch decides your application has enough information to be “admissible”. Admissions will forward your claim to Client Services. Then Client Services will help you as a self-represented claimant to get your claim through the IAP hearing and settlement stages.

How does Client Services help me get through the IAP?

Client Services will help you as a self-represented claimant by assigning an IAP Support Officer to your claim. Support Officers provide information, assistance, guidance and support to the self-represented.