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.
  • 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.
  • For Statistics on CEP

Personal Credits

  • The October 31, 2014, deadline to apply for Personal Credits originally approved by the Court and agreed to by all parties has passed. Canada and its partners are working together to request an extension. Ultimately, the decision on extending the application deadline will be made by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Updated information will be posted once a decision is rendered.

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 unless ordered by the Courts.
  • For statistics on IAP.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

  • Over the course of its seven-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 Indianr 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 4.2 million documents to the TRC. As per the Settlement Agreement, Canada is making accessible to the TRC all relevant documents related to Indianr 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; Montreal, Quebec in April 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia in September 2013; and, Edmonton, Alberta in March 2014. The Governor General also attended the Winnipeg national event.

Commemoration

  • 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. Four proposals were subsequently withdrawn and AANDC committed $8.5 million to 68 projects that met the applicable terms and conditions.
  • A call for Commemoration proposals for 2012-2013 was posted on the TRC's website on January 27, 2012 with a closing date of March 30, 2012. Upon completion of TRC's review of the submitted proposals, the TRC recommended 76 proposals to AANDC. One proposal was subsequently withdrawn and AANDC committed $11.5 million to 75 projects that met the applicable terms and conditions.

Healing and Health Services

  • Health Canada's Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRSRHSP), a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, assists former students of Indian residential schools and their families in safely addressing a broad spectrum of mental wellness issues related to the disclosure of childhood abuse through all phases of the IRSSA.
  • The RHSP components include:
    • cultural support services provided by Elders;
    • emotional support services provided by Resolution Health Support Workers (RHSWs);
    • professional counseling; and
    • assistance with the cost of transportation to access counseling, traditional healer services.
  • AANDC supports former students in crisis by funding the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line, a national, 24-hour toll-free support service (1-866-925-4419) operated by trained crisis counselors, many of whom are Aboriginal. 
  • As part of the Settlement Agreement, the Government of Canada also provided $125 million to the AHF to support community-based healing initiatives.

Reconciliation

  • 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, the Government of Canada has offered a number of gestures of reconciliation at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's national events.

Learn More

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.