OTTAWA, March 13, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, made the following statement:
"The abuse suffered by former residential school students is tragic and unacceptable. Bringing closure to the legacy of Indian residential schools is at the heart of reconciliation and a renewal of the relationships between Indigenous Peoples who attended these schools, their families and communities, and all Canadians.
The Independent Assessment Process established by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement is an important tool for bringing about a sense of closure for survivors of this terrible chapter in our history. Tens-of-thousands of survivors have obtained compensation through this process. Its rules and procedures are the product of negotiations with all parties to the agreement and have been repeatedly upheld by the Courts. At the same time, the government believes that there are some instances where Indian Residential School survivors who suffered abuse at the hands of fellow students may not have received fair compensation.
Therefore I am announcing our Government will pursue negotiated settlements with survivors whose claims of student-on-student abuse were previously dismissed or under-compensated. This action could help approximately 240 eligible former students by ensuring they receive fair compensation for abuse suffered at Indian residential schools.
The Government of Canada has a responsibility to work with Indigenous peoples toward a fair, comprehensive and lasting resolution for residential school survivors, and to promote healing, education, commemoration and truth and reconciliation.
The Government of Canada is committed to fundamentally transforming the relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition, respect, cooperation, and partnership. Canada acknowledges that, beyond the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, much work remains to achieve true and lasting reconciliation.
We will continue to work with survivors and their representatives to bring closure to this dark and tragic chapter in Canadian history as we continue on the shared path of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples."
- The Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement came into effect on September, 19th, 2007
- To date, nearly 80,000 former residential school students have received a Common Experience Payment, totaling $1.6 billion under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
- Through the Independent Assessment Process of the Agreement, 98 % of the more than 38,000 claims received have been resolved, with more than $3 billion in compensation paid to former students.
- In February 2017, the Government began a similar negotiated settlement process with survivors whose IAP claims had been rejected or reduced due to the use of the "Administrative Split," argument.
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: James Fitz-Morris, Director of Communications and Issues Management, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160