AFN National Chief Applauds the Finalization of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

    OTTAWA, Sept. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine is pleased to announce that residential school survivors are
officially eligible to apply and receive a Common Experience Payment, now that
the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement has been finalized.
Survivors are also entitled to apply for the Independent Assessment Program
(IAP) for compensation for serious abuses experienced during their time spent
at residential schools.
    "Today is a remarkable day for residential school survivors, for First
Nations, and indeed, for all Canadians," stated National Chief Fontaine. "This
settlement agreement is not only about compensation, but also about healing
and reconciliation between First Nations and Canada." At last, justice will be
served for those who have suffered a long and often painful journey through
the residential schools experience."
    The Assembly of First Nations, led by National Chief Fontaine, tirelessly
worked to negotiate a fair, just, and comprehensive agreement with the
Government of Canada. The settlement agreement is the largest settlement in
Canadian history, which includes payment for survivors to compensate for loss
of language and culture, a more efficient and effective process to deal with
serious claims of abuse, and a national truth and reconciliation commission to
bring greater understanding and awareness of the Indian residential schools
history. More than 150-thousand children attended residential schools. There
are about 80-thousand living survivors who are eligible for compensation.
    "The Assembly of First Nations will continue to work with the federal
government to ensure that there will be no unnecessary delays or difficulties
for survivors in their applications for the Common Experience Payment," said
the National Chief.
    "The next important step in our work of the settlement agreement will be
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," stated the National Chief. "It will
shed light on one of the darkest chapters in Canada's history, a history that
all Canadians should be aware of. Through the important work of the truth
commission, we will begin to truly understand our past and how we move

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor - Office of
the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243, cell (613) 298-6382,;
Joan McEwen, Director of Communications, (613) 241-6789 ext 242,; Josee Bellemare, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613)
241-6789 ext 336, cell (613) 327-6331,

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