Implementation under way for Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement



    WINNIPEG, Sept. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister
of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and
Non-Status Indians, and Minister Responsible for Indian Residential Schools
Resolution Canada, and Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First
Nations, today announced the Implementation of the Indian Residential Schools
Settlement Agreement.
    "Significant care has gone into achieving a fair and lasting resolution
to the legacy of the Indian Residential School system - a resolution that will
ensure former students and Canadians can move together towards healing and
reconciliation," said Minister Strahl. "I am pleased to mark today as truly
special and memorable, as our historic Settlement Agreement comes into effect
and can now be implemented."
    "Today, our thoughts are first and foremost with the former students of
Indian Residential Schools who have waited decades for this moment," National
Chief Phil Fontaine said. "The Assembly of First Nations worked diligently
with and for former students to ensure this agreement is fair and
comprehensive. It is not just about compensation. It is about helping people
heal. It is about justice. It is about reconciliation. This agreement will
help First Nations and Canada to move out from under the long shadow of
residential schools."
    Starting today, applications for the Common Experience Payment will be
mailed to all former students of Indian Residential Schools who have requested
one. They will also be available through all Service Canada Centres and
on-line at servicecanada.gc.ca.
    The Settlement Agreement provides for a Common Experience Payment to be
paid, upon application and verification, to eligible former students of Indian
Residential Schools. The Agreement also includes an Independent Assessment
Process for claims of sexual or serious physical abuse, as well as measures to
support Healing, Commemoration, and the establishment of a Truth and
Reconciliation Commission.
    Over the next four years, former students of Indian Residential Schools
will be able to submit Common Experience Payment applications to Service
Canada. The deadline for submission of applications by eligible individuals is
September 19, 2011.
    Service Canada's responsibilities include: helping former students obtain
and fill out their CEP applications; accepting their completed applications;
and processing payments for applications approved by IRSRC. Service Canada's
staff will assist former students in-person through community outreach and any
of its 328 Service Canada Centres, online at servicecanada.gc.ca and through
its toll-free CEP line (1-866-699-1742 or TTY 1-800-926-9105).
    On May 10, 2006, Canada's New Government announced the conclusion of the
final Settlement Agreement. It includes:

    
    - A Common Experience Payment to be paid to all eligible former students
      who resided at recognized Indian Residential Schools;

    - An Independent Assessment Process for claims of sexual and serious
      physical abuse;

    - A fund to support events and other activities which commemorate the
      legacy of Indian Residential Schools; and

    - The establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    

    For more information on the Implementation of the Settlement Agreement,
please refer to the attached background documents.




For further information:

For further information: Philippe Mailhot, Press Secretary, Office of
the Honourable Chuck Strahl, (819) 997-0002; Valérie Haché, Media Relations
Coordinator, Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada, (613) 947-5024


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