Fact Sheet – Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
The implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (Settlement Agreement) began on September 19, 2007, following the agreement reached between legal counsel for former students, legal counsel for the Churches, the Assembly of First Nations, other Aboriginal organizations and the Government of Canada to achieve a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.
The Settlement Agreement includes the following measures to address the legacy of the Indian Residential School system:
- Common Experience Payment (CEP) to be paid to all eligible former students who resided at a recognized Indian Residential School;
- Independent Assessment Process (IAP), a claimant-centered, non-adversarial, out of court process for the resolution of claims of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and other wrongful acts suffered at Indian Residential Schools;
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), mandated to hold seven national events, support community events, create a public historical record and promote awareness about the Residential Schools system and its impacts;
- Commemoration, a $20 million initiative which supports local, regional and national activities that honour, educate, remember, memorialize and/or pay tribute to former Indian Residential School students, their families and their communities; and
- Measures to support healing such as the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program and an endowment to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) .
Common Experience Payment
- The deadline for applying for the CEP was September 19, 2011. A number of applications for the CEP are still under review.
- For Statistics on CEP
- CEP applications were accepted until September 19, 2012 in cases of disability, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances, and needed to include a written reason for the delay.
- Once all Common Experience Payments have been made, if more than $40 million remains, the funds will be made available to CEP recipients who apply in the form of personal credits of up to $3,000 each for educational purposes. Any remaining funds will be divided between the National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund (NIBTF) and the Inuvialuit Education Foundation (IEF) to support educational initiatives.
- If less than $40 million remains after all Common Experience Payments have been made, there will be no entitlement to personal credits, and the balance will be divided between the NIBTF and the IEF.
Independent Assessment Process
- Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the deadline for submitting Independent Assessment Process (IAP) applications was September 19, 2012.
- The Settlement Agreement states that IAP applications will not be accepted if they are submitted past this deadline.
- For statistics on IAP.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Over the course of its five-year mandate, the TRC will provide former students and anyone affected by the Indian Residential School legacy with an opportunity to share their individual experiences in a safe and culturally appropriate manner. The TRC will also:
- Prepare a comprehensive historical record on the policies and operations of residential schools;
- Complete a publicly accessible report that will include recommendations to the Government of Canada concerning the Indian Residential School system and its legacy;
- Establish, to the extent that its budget allows, a research centre by the end of its mandate that will be a permanent resource for all Canadians;
- Host seven national events across Canada to promote awareness and public education about the Indian Residential School system and its impact;
- Support events designed by individual communities to meet their unique needs; and
- Support a $20 million Commemoration initiative to fund local, regional and national activities that honour, educate, remember, memorialize and/or pay tribute to former Indian Residential School students, their families and their communities;
- Under the Settlement Agreement, Canada has certain obligations vis à vis the TRC.
- To date, Canada has disclosed over 941,000 documents to the TRC. As per the Settlement Agreement, Canada is making accessible to the TRC all relevant documents related to Indian Residential Schools spanning over a century.
- To ensure high level participation at each of the TRC’s national events, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and senior departmental officials participated in each event: Winnipeg, Manitoba in June 2010; Inuvik, Northwest Territories in June 2011; Halifax, Nova Scotia in October 2011; and, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in June 2012. The Governor General also attended the Winnipeg national event.
- The IRSSA identifies $20 million for Commemoration initiatives to provide former students, their families and communities the opportunity to pay tribute to, honour, educate, remember, and memorialize their experiences by acknowledging the systemic impacts of the residential school system. AANDC and the TRC are jointly responsible for the development and implementation of Commemoration.
- A call for Commemoration proposals for 2011-2012 was posted on the TRC’s website on January 4, 2011 with a closing date of March 18, 2011. On September 23, 2011, the TRC completed its review and recommended 72 proposals to AANDC. Three proposals were subsequently withdrawn and AANDC committed $8.5 million to 69 projects that met the applicable terms and conditions.
- On January 27, 2012, the TRC announced the 2012-13 call for proposals with a closing date of March 30, 2012. The TRC received 191 proposals requesting over $33 million. AANDC is currently waiting for the TRC’s recommendations of approved projects for the remaining $11.5 million in 2012-13.
Healing and Health Services
- The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRSRHSP) provides mental health and emotional supports for eligible former students and their families as they participate in the components of the Settlement Agreement: CEP, IAP, TRC events and commemoration activities.
- The services provided are based on the individual’s specific needs and are provided by elders, Aboriginal community health workers, psychologists, and social workers.
- Through this program, former students and their families have access to services which include:
- Cultural Supports: community-based elders and traditional healers.
- Emotional supports: Aboriginal community-based mental health workers, many of whom speak Aboriginal languages.
- Clinical supports: psychologists and social workers who provide counselling.
- Transportation assistance: when professional counselling and cultural support services are not locally available.
- As part of the Settlement Agreement, the Government of Canada also provided $125 million to the AHF to support community-based healing initiatives.
- Twelve of the healing centres funded by the AHF will continue to operate until December 31, 2013.
- In addition to implementing the Settlement Agreement, Canada continues to promote reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
- In addition to the historic Apology to former Indian Residential School students by the Prime Minister in June 2008, some of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s gestures of reconciliation are:
- June 16, 2010: At the TRC’s first national event in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Government of Canada announced its intent to repeal those sections of the Indian Act that allowed for the establishment of Indian Residential Schools and the removal of children from their homes and communities.
- August 18, 2010: Minister Duncan apologized to the Inuit families who were relocated to the High Arctic in the 1950s.
- June 2011: Gestures of reconciliation offered at the TRC’s second national event in Inuvik, Northwest Territories included:
- $800,000 through APIP and Health Canada to northern Aboriginal organizations to support former students’ travel to the event; and
- Printing of “Cultivating Canada”, the AHF’s third volume on truth and reconciliation, for distribution at the national event.
- October 27, 2011: Minister Duncan announced the Government of Canada will commemorate the legacy of Indian Residential Schools through a permanent installation of stained glass artwork in Centre Block on Parliament Hill. Minister Duncan unveiled the selected artwork on June 11, 2012, the fourth anniversary of the Prime Minister’s Apology. This artwork will be translated to stained glass, for installation by the end of 2012.
- October 2011: Gestures of reconciliation offered at the TRC’s third national event in Halifax, Nova Scotia included:
- $200,000 through APIP and Health Canada to support travel and accommodations for former students to attend the event;
- Printing the Sioux Lookout Community Coalition on Healing and Reconciliation’s “Starting to Talk: A guide for Communities on Healing and Reconciliation from the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools”.
- June 2012: Gestures of reconciliation offered at the TRC’s fourth national event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan included:
- Providing funds to the Saskatoon Tribal Council to set up accommodations for survivors in a large campsite at the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, a historic gathering place for Aboriginal people in the region.
Learn more about the history of Indian Residential Schools, as well as key milestones leading up to the present day, by visiting our online visual presentation in either HTML or Flash.