Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic September 18, 2012 - 1:07 pm

Sept. 19 marks deadline to apply for residential school compensation

Sept. 19 cut-off for Common Experience Payments, Independent Assessment Process

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Former residential students have only one more day to file for compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, said Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in a Sept. 18 news release.

The Common Experience Payment is paid to eligible former students who resided at a recognized residential school.

The deadline to apply for a CEP was Sept. 19, 2011, but “in cases of disability, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances,” applications can be accepted until Sept. 19, 2012, the news release said.

For Inuit, the CEP had processed 4,371 applications, and Nunavummiut received $41.2 million through the CEP as of June 30, 2012.

You can find additional information about the CEP online or by calling 1-866-699-1742.

The Independent Assessment Process is an out-of-court process to resolve claims of abuse at recognized residential schools.

Former students who have received a CEP can also apply to the Independent Assessment Process.

The IAP is specifically for those who experienced serious physical, sexual, or emotional abuse at a residential school.

You do not have to have lived at a residential hostel to receive this settlement, however.

A quasi-judicial tribunal that operates independently from the Government of Canada sets up the process.

The hearings are entirely out-of-court, and compensation is paid out after a hearing of the claim is deemed worthy of a settlement.

The Government of Canada had received just over 23,000 claims, as of June 30, for IAP compensation. Of those, the average current payment, including legal costs, was $117,613 — a total compensation of $1.557 billion to date.

Information on the process can be found in the IAP guide and IAP application form which are available online or by calling 1-866-879-4913.

Last July, problems still remained with the compensation application process, Sandra Omik, legal counsel for Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., told Nunatsiaq News.

Omik, who worked with hundreds of Inuit on these payments, said she had come across many “frustrating” issues that prevent Inuit from becoming eligible for compensation.

Matching Inuit with the right names contained in government records was one of those issues because new surnames given during the residential school period were often forgotten or misspelled.

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