Residential School Survivors Worn Down By Wait

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 at 13:50



The director of the Residential School Survivors’ Society says far too many claims by survivors are being rejected by the government.


Sharon Thira says her office has taken many calls from survivors and their families who have proof they attended the schools — but their claims are being challenged by government.


Thira says she believes officials with the compensation process will eventually sort things out, but it could take time.


She notes the government stated it only had 70 per cent of the residential school records when it started the compensation process, but hopes to have 90 per cent when the Roman Catholic Church eventually comes through with its documentation.


Meanwhile, Thira worries more delays in the compensation process could jeopardize the health of some former students.


She says the wait for money is taking its toll on many elders, who simply want the process to be over.


Thira says recent headlines about legal squabbles between lawyers and the government have only added to their anxiety.


Just yesterday, Thira says she was talking to the granddaughter of a 92-year-old survivor whose health is deteriorating daily because of the constant worry and stress the situation is creating.


Thira says part of the problem is that while the money seems so close, it has yet to find its way to many survivors’ pockets.