All Residential School Survivors To Be Compensated

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 at 15:08



The federal government has announced an agreement with residential school victims, the Assembly of First Nations and the churches on how to compensate former residents of the schools.


Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan announced a $1.9 billion package this morning following months of negotiations facilitated by former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci.


The major plank of the new agreement appears to be a “common experience payment” to be paid to all former students of residential schools.


All survivors of the schools will receive $10,000 and an additional $3,000 for each year they attended a residential school. Former students aged 65 years and older will soon be able to apply for an advance payment of $8,000.


Anyone receiving this payment will have to release the federal government and the churches that ran the schools from all further liability relating to the residential school experience.


The only exceptions will be cases of sexual abuse and the most serious incidents of physical abuse. Those claims will be dealt with through a revamped alternative dispute resolution process.


As part of the agreement, Ottawa is also pledging another $125 million for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and $60 million for the creation of a truth and reconciliation process. McLellan says that process will involve “further investigation and education concerning past policies and their continuing impact on Aboriginal Canadians and their families”.