Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine Statement Regarding Appeal by Attorney General of Canada on Residential Schools Settlement Approval by Saskatchewan Court
OTTAWA, Jan. 17 – “We are very disappointed to learn that the Attorney General of Canada has appealed part of a Regina Court decision to approve the Indian residential school class action lawsuit. We strongly encourage the Government of Canada and the Saskatchewan Court to sever this legal issue so that the $1.9 billion settlement process can proceed without further delay in settlement payments for survivors.”
“We have now heard from all nine courts. All agree the settlement agreement is fair and just. Some courts have raised some concerns that need to be addressed immediately to ensure survivors get their money in a timely fashion. Compensation payments for the approximately 80,000 residential school survivors should likely begin later this summer.” “We want to emphasize to the courts and the government the importance of getting this historic settlement completed in a timely matter. Many of the survivors, who are elderly and sick, are dying at a rate of four a day. We all agree we want to see an end to this sad chapter of Canadian history.”
“The courts certification also means the Truth Commission will be starting its work next summer. The Truth Commission will ensure that all Canadians will understand the significance of the serious harm done to our people. First Nations are determined to send the message to the world that “Never Again” will such actions be tolerated in Canada.”
“A comprehensive communications outreach plan to inform survivors of their rights to compensation is expected to begin once the court certification process is completed.”
–National Chief Phil Fontaine
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
For further information: contact: Bryan Hendry, A/Director of Communications, (613) 241-6789, ext. 229, cell (613) 293-6106, [email protected]; Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor to the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext. 243, cell (613) 298-6382, [email protected]