PAGC Chief Likes Plan To Settle Abuse Claims

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 14:54



The chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council says he approves of the proposed compensation package for survivors of residential schools that the government has promised to examine.


Gary Merasty says there are three main pillars to the government’s plan of addressing residential school claims.


The first one would see Prime Minister Paul Martin apologize to survivors for the years they were forced to spend away from their families and homes.


The second one would call for an examination to take place about why the residential schools were created in the first place and to look at the suffering that went along with them.


As well, Merasty says financial compensation would be offered to all former survivors of residential schools, no matter how long they were there.


Merasty says that money is intended to cover the loss of language, culture and family ties that went with the residential school experience.


However, those residents who may have suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuses would still be free to sue the government.


Merasty says he knows there is criticism about the way the government is handling this, but he believes many former residents aren’t looking for money as much as an acknowledgement of what was done.


He says the entire process could wrap up by 2010 if the government goes for it, but believes money may start flowing immediately to the sick and very elderly.


A former Supreme Court justice will issue a report to government by next March regarding the best way to address the residential school abuse file.