Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut February 18, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Residential school survivors can get funding for group healing

Group IAP program launches call for proposals

SARAH ROGERS

The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat has launched a call for proposals to fund group healing activities for former residential school students.

The Group IAP program, launched in 2008, allows former residential school students to go through the Independent Assessment Process with the support of fellow former students.

The IAP is aimed at those former students who suffered sexual or serious physical abuse, and provides them with compensation on top of the Common Experience Payment program — now closed — which recognized anyone who attended residential school.

“Group IAP offers community healing, not just individual healing,” said Dan Shapiro, chief adjudicator for the IAP, in a Feb. 18 release.

“It empowers former students by giving them access to the tools and resources they need to develop and strengthen relationships with other students, their families, their communities and with other Canadians as they move along their healing journey.”

But the program has never received any applications from Nunavummiut, a program spokesperson told Nunatsiaq News.

Although the Group IAP program has handed out money each year since 2008, this is the first year the secretariat has put out a call for proposals.

And in the absence of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, that money could go a long way for Inuit school survivors. Funding of up to $3,500 per eligible group member is available under Group IAP for selected proposals.

Groups have until March 31, 2014 to submit their proposals to be considered for 2015.

But groups must first ensure that all of their members selected for funding have had their own individual IAP claims for compensation accepted.

Groups must be incorporated, or associated with a non-profit group at the time of application. Applicants from the same group must also share a common bond, such as living in the same community or having attended the same residential school.

And applicants can propose a number of different activities to support members in the healing process, from counselling sessions, to workshops and traditional and cultural activities.

More information on the call for proposals and application instructions are available on the Indian Resident School Adjudication Secretariat website.

Although the secretariat only accepts applications in English or French, unilingual Inuktitut-speaking individuals or groups may contact program staff for help if language is a barrier, a secretariat spokesperson said.

The IAP was established in 2007 under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class action settlement in Canadian history.

By the end of 2013, the IAP had seen 37,919 applications for compensation. Since the program’s inception, 25,261 cases have been resolved and more than $2 billion paid out.

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