1867 - 1997
Federally-Run Indian Residential Schools in Operation
Photo by: Library and Archives Canada PA-182246
The British North American Act makes Indian education a federal responsibility. Indian Residential Schools were located in every province and territory except Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and operated for well over a century. The Government of Canada typically operated the schools as a joint venture with religious organizations.
The Indian Act was first enacted in 1876 and it contained a number of clauses that allowed the federal government to establish Indian Residential Schools. Even though we now know the damage that was caused to many Aboriginal people and communities as a result of residential schools, these clauses remain part of the laws of Canada.
The announcement to repeal the Residential School provisions of the Indian Act was made on the occasion of Truth and Reconciliation Commission's first National Event held in Winnipeg, Manitoba June, 15, 2010.
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
The Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples is released. It recommends a public investigation into the violence and abuses at residential schools and brings the experiences of former students to national attention.
Establishment of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation
The Aboriginal Healing Foundation was established as part of Canada's response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Launched in 1998 with an endowment from the Government of Canada of $350 million, the Foundation assists Aboriginal communities in building sustainable healing processes that address the legacy of physical and sexual abuse in the Indian Residential School system. The Foundation supports intergenerational impacts, holistic and community-based healing to address needs of individuals, families and communities. As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the Foundation received an additional $40 million in 2005 and a final endowment of $125 million in 2007.
Creation of Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada
In June 2001, a new federal department, Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada, is created to focus federal efforts to manage and resolve abuse claims and address the legacy left by the schools.
National Resolution Framework
In November 2003, the Government launches the National Resolution Framework, which includes a litigation strategy, health supports, a Commemoration Program and an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.
May 30, 2005
Appointment of the Honourable Frank Iacobucci
After approaches such as litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution prove to be lengthy, adversarial and costly, the Government appoints the Honourable Frank Iacobucci to work with legal counsel for former students, legal counsel for Church entities and other representatives of former students, including the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations, to develop an agreement for a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.
April 1, 2007
Launch of the Advocacy and Public Information Program (APIP)
From 2007-2013, over $26 million has been fully invested into 138 regional and national projects across Canada. The 2012-13 criteria focuses on promoting healing and reconciliation amongst youth and inter-generational former students, in addition to sharing Settlement Agreement information about the Independent Assessment Process application deadline, and other pertinent information about the Settlement Agreement.
September 19, 2007
Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
Implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) begins 6 months after having been given court approval in 9 Canadian jurisdictions.
The five main components of the IRSSA are:
- A Common Experience Payment (CEP) for all eligible former students of Indian Residential Schools;
- An Independent Assessment Process (IAP) for claims of sexual or serious physical abuse;
- Measures to support healing;
- Commemorative activities; and,
- The establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
June 1, 2008
Establishment of the TRC
Justice Harry Laforme is appointed Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), while Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Morley are appointed as Commissioners. Justice Laforme later resigns on October 20, 2008 and the remaining Commissioners resign effective June 1, 2009.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- The Government of Canada takes a Significant Step Toward Launching the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission to Begin Work on June 1: Canada Announces Final Appointments
- Order in Council establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
June 11, 2008
Prime Minister's Apology
On June 11, 2008, the spiritual leaders of the Anglican, Presbyterian and United Churches, along with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, the leaders of the five national Aboriginal groups, and the other signatories of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement come to hear the Prime Minister of Canada and the leaders of the Opposition Parties apologize to former students of Indian Residential Schools in the House of Commons.
June 10, 2009
Announcement of new TRC Chair and Commissioners
Minister Chuck Strahl announces that as of July 1, 2009 Justice Murray Sinclair will become the new Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, while Chief Wilton Littlechild and Marie Wilson will assume the responsibilities of Commissioners.
October 15, 2009
Re-Launch of the TRC
Governor General Michaëlle Jean re-launches the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in an emotional ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
- Governor General to serve as witness to survivors' accounts of Indian Residential Schools legacy
- Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission "Witnessing the Future" Ceremony
©Office of the Secretary to the Governor General 2009. Photo credit: Sgt Serge Gouin, Rideau Hall. Reproduced with permission of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General.
June 16-19, 2010
TRC's First National Event in Winnipeg
At the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s first National Event in Winnipeg, Canada announces 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's Apology to Inuit Relocatees
On August 18, 2010 Minister John Duncan apologizes to the Inuit families who were forcibly relocated to the High Arctic.
January 4, 2011
Launch of Commemoration
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission launches the Commemoration initiative on January 4, 2011. A call for proposals for fiscal year 2012-13 was posted on the TRC’s website on January 27, 2012 with a closing date of March 30, 2012.
June 28 - July 1, 2011
TRC National Event in Inuvik
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hosted its second National Event in Inuvik, NWT. Recognizing the logistical challenges for former students to travel to Inuvik, AANDC contributed $400,000 to six northern Aboriginal organizations to support travel and accommodations for more than 170 former students to attend the Inuvik event. Health Canada contributed the same amount to assist with travel to the national northern event.
September 19, 2011
Common Experience Payment (CEP) Application Deadline
The Common Experience Payment (CEP) is one element of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Implementation of the court-approved Settlement Agreement began on September 19, 2007, and was negotiated by representatives from various Aboriginal organizations, church entities, legal representatives for former students, and the Government of Canada.
The CEP is paid to eligible former students who resided at a listed Indian Residential School. Eligible former students receive $10,000 for their first year (or part thereof) of their attendance at a listed Indian Residential School plus $3,000 for each additional year (or part thereof).
The CEP application deadline was September 19, 2011. Late applications were accepted until September 19, 2012 in cases of disability, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances, and had to include a written reason for the delay in application.
October 26-29, 2011
TRC National Event in Halifax
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hosted its third National Event in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Government of Canada’s gesture of reconciliation for this event included a contribution of $200,000 to support travel and accommodations for former students to participate in this event. This was in addition to the recent announcement that Canada will remember the legacy of Indian Residential Schools through the permanent installation of stained glass artwork in Parliament.
October 27, 2011
Commemoration of the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Parliament
Minister John Duncan announces that 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.
June 21-24, 2012
TRC National Event in Saskatoon
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hosted its fourth National Event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Minister John Duncan attended the event and announced that, as a gesture of reconciliation, the Government of Canada funded the cost of setting up a camp facility at Wanuskewin Heritage Park for former students' accommodations at the event.
September 19, 2012
Independent Assessment Process (IAP) Application Deadline
The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is a claimant-centred, 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.
The IAP is one element of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which is the largest class action settlement in Canadian history and aims to bring a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of residential schools. The court-approved Settlement Agreement was negotiated by representatives from various Aboriginal organizations, church representatives, legal representatives for former students, and the Government of Canada. The IAP application deadline was September 19, 2012.
Additionally, while the Common Experience Payment application deadline was September 19, 2011, late applications were accepted until September 19, 2012 in cases of disability, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances.
November 26, 2012
Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
On November 26, 2012, as part of a dedication ceremony in Parliament, the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development presented a commemorative stained glass window to the Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons. Designed by renowned Métis artist Christi Belcourt, the window commemorates the legacy of Indian Residential Schools and the Prime Minister's historic Apology and has been installed directly above the west door to Centre Block. The window provides a unique opportunity for Parliamentarians and visitors to the Parliament buildings for generations to come to learn about the history of Indian Residential Schools and Canada's ongoing reconciliation efforts.
April 24 to 27, 2013
TRC National Event in Montreal
From April 24 to 27, 2013 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hosted its fifth National Event in Montreal, Quebec.
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