AFN National Chief Applauds the Finalization of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
OTTAWA, Sept. 19 – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine is pleased to announce that residential school survivors are officially eligible to apply and receive a Common Experience Payment, now that the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement has been finalized. Survivors are also entitled to apply for the Independent Assessment Program (IAP) for compensation for serious abuses experienced during their time spent at residential schools. “Today is a remarkable day for residential school survivors, for First Nations, and indeed, for all Canadians,” stated National Chief Fontaine. “This settlement agreement is not only about compensation, but also about healing and reconciliation between First Nations and Canada.” At last, justice will be served for those who have suffered a long and often painful journey through the residential schools experience.”
The Assembly of First Nations, led by National Chief Fontaine, tirelessly worked to negotiate a fair, just, and comprehensive agreement with the Government of Canada. The settlement agreement is the largest settlement in Canadian history, which includes payment for survivors to compensate for loss of language and culture, a more efficient and effective process to deal with serious claims of abuse, and a national truth and reconciliation commission to bring greater understanding and awareness of the Indian residential schools history. More than 150-thousand children attended residential schools. There are about 80-thousand living survivors who are eligible for compensation.
“The Assembly of First Nations will continue to work with the federal government to ensure that there will be no unnecessary delays or difficulties for survivors in their applications for the Common Experience Payment,” said the National Chief.
“The next important step in our work of the settlement agreement will be the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” stated the National Chief. “It will shed light on one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s history, a history that all Canadians should be aware of. Through the important work of the truth commission, we will begin to truly understand our past and how we move forward.”
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
For further information: Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor – Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243, cell (613) 298-6382, firstname.lastname@example.org; Joan McEwen, Director of Communications, (613) 241-6789 ext 242, email@example.com; Josee Bellemare, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext 336, cell (613) 327-6331, firstname.lastname@example.org