Canada Agrees to Settle Survivors Residential School Claims – November 23, 2005
To: Association for Survivors of Shubenacadie Residential School
From: John A. McKiggan
Date: November 23, 2005
Re: Shubenacadie Residential School Claims Update
Canada Agrees to Settle Survivors Residential School Claims!
I have been representing the survivors of the Shubenacadie School since 1996. I have been participating in intensive negotiations with the Government of Canada over the last five months. I am proud to announce that we have finally negotiated a settlement with Canada that will pay compensation to all Survivors who ever attended a Residential School! WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT? The settlement involves five key points:
- Compensation for Loss of Language and Culture:
Every Residential School Survivor alive on May 30, 2005 will receive a payment to compensate them for their experiences in the Residential Schools. The payment will be $10,000.00 for the first year they attended the school and $3,000.00 for every year thereafter. Elderly survivors age 65 and over will receive an advance payment of $8000.00 immediately which will be credited to their total compensation payment.
- An Improved Compensation Program for Sexual Abuse and Serious Physical Abuse:
Survivors who suffered sexual and physical abuse in the School will be able to apply for additional compensation for sexual and physical abuse. If you want to make an additional claim for physical and/or sexual abuse while a resident at the School, please call my office directly as we have the details about the new compensation program.
Canada will provide funding for events, projects and memorials for Residential School Survivors at both National and Community level.
Canada will provide funding for healing programs to address the harms of physical and sexual abuse.
- Truth and Reconciliation:
Canada will provide funding for National and Community based truth-sharing and reconciliation events.
If you have questions about your claim, and how much you are entitled to receive, you can call me at902-423-2050.
Who Can Apply for Compensation?
Any Survivor who attended a Residential school who was alive on May 30, 2005 can apply for compensation. If a survivor has died since May 30 2005 their estate will be able to apply for the compensation for loss of language and culture.
When Will Survivors be Paid?
This is a National settlement. The settlement still has to be approved by the courts in the various provinces. The laws in each province require a period of several months to allow residential school survivors to decide if they want to participate in the settlement. If you have questions about your claim, and how much you are entitled to receive, you can call me at902-423-2050.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
Survivors will be entitled to receive $10,000.00 for the first year they were in the Shubenacadie Residential School and $3,000.00 every year thereafter. For example, if you were in the school for 3 years you would receive $16,000.00 ($10,000.00 for year 1 and $6,000.00 for years 2 and 3). Using the same formula, if you were in the School for 7 years you would receive $28,000.00. If you have questions about your claim, and how much you are entitled to receive, you can call me at902-423-2050.
Survivors who suffered sexual abuse or serious physical abuse will be entitled to apply for additional compensation. The amount of the compensation will depend on the type of physical or sexual abuse suffered and the effects of the abuse on your life. If you want to make a claim for compensation for physical or sexual abuse or have questions about how much you may be entitled to receive, you can call me at902-423-2050.
Do I Apply for Compensation?
The exact details of how survivors can apply for compensation, and what forms may have to be filed, are still being worked out. If you have questions about your compensation claim you can call me at902-423-2050.
How Much do I Have to Pay For Legal Fees?
Because my law firm is part of the National Class Action, we will not be charging legal fees to help get your compensation for loss of language and culture. If my office represents you to apply for compensation for the loss of language and culture payment you will not have to pay any legal fees. If you hire a lawyer other than someone from my office, to help you with your claim, you may be required to pay legal fees to help you apply for compensation for loss of language and culture. When the National Class Action is approved by the court, there will be a fairness hearing to determine what legal fees lawyers should receive for negotiating the settlement. Canada will pay the Class Action legal fees.
I have been proud to represent the Survivors of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School for the last nine years and I am pleased that we have been able to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement for all Residential School Survivors across Canada. I would like to thank all of the Shubenacadie Survivors who placed their trust in me and worked with me over the past nine years.
I would especially like to acknowledge and thank Nora Bernard for her work in creating the Association for the Survivors of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School and all of her efforts on behalf of Survivors over the last ten years.
We will post further updates on our website: www.apmlawyers.com.
JOHN A. McKIGGAN
McKiggan Hebert Lawyers.