Former Boarding School Students Want Answers

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 at 13:28



The mayor of Ile-a-la-Crosse says frustration is setting in for many residents who can’t get a clear message from the government on whether or not they will be compensated for their time at a local boarding school.


Max Morin says he phoned and talked to officials in Ottawa about the boarding school question, but didn’t receive a clear answer.


Just yesterday, an information officer at the office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada told MBC that past attendees of boarding schools would be eligible for compensation similar to that of residential school survivors.


However, that statement was contradicted hours later by a public affairs officer for the agency.


It seems, right now, the federal government is only prepared to compensate students who attended institutions classified as Indian residential schools, but a spokeswoman admits nothing is set in stone and more schools are being added to its list all the time.


Morin feels the situation is getting extremely complicated and he would just like a clear answer on what the government is prepared to do.


He adds clarity is definitely needed right now. However, he worries that if the matter is turned over to lawyers, they will wind up with a large chunk of any compensation money.


Morin notes he heard from officials with the Metis National Council about 18 months ago that the government was thinking of handing the boarding school portfolio over to the provincial government.


He says he hasn’t heard anything different since then.