OTTAWA, December 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde is pleased with today's court decision to extend the deadlines for the Indian residential schools personal credits for education program, and wants to see existing administrative concerns addressed quickly so that residential schools survivors can more easily access the program.
"I'm pleased that all parties to the Settlement Agreement have agreed to extend the deadlines and that residential schools survivors will now have additional time to apply to the personal credits program," said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. "The Assembly of First Nations has pressed for this extension in response to the serious administrative concerns expressed by survivors and family members across the country. The extension does not solve all the challenges of the program, but it will allow us more time to continue to offer support to survivors interested in using the credits for education programs and services."
New deadline dates will be determined once the court order is signed by all parties, but today's court ruling will allow for a two month extension from the date of the court order to submit the personal credits acknowledgement form and a five month extension from the date of court order to submit the personal credits redemption forms. All education programs and services must be concluded by August 31, 2015.
"Despite the administrative challenges, it is important to acknowledge that there are many survivors and family members using creative approaches to setting up initiatives to strengthen language, culture and healing," said AFN NWT Regional Chief Bill Erasmus who leads the work of the AFN Executive Committee in the area of residential schools. "AFN's goal is to help ensure every CEP recipient has the information they need to apply for the personal credits, including exploring all options whether it be giving it to a family member or contributing to a group initiative."
As of December 4, 2014, approximately 24,000 of approximately 79,000 eligible Common Experience Payment recipients had submitted applications.
The personal credits for education program, offered by the Government of Canada is the final phase of compensation to Indian residential school survivors as set out in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) of 2007. For more information and resources please visit www.afn.ca or direct link at http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/personal-credits.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Jenna Young Castro, AFN Communications Officer, 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or email@example.com