2001 - Present
Mowatt v. Clarke comes to a verdict
Both the Anglican Church and the government admitted fault and agree to a settlement.
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Canadian government begins negotiations with the Anglican, Catholic, United and Presbyterian churches to design a compensation plan
By October, the government agrees to pay 70 per cent of settlement to former students with validated claims.
The Anglican Diocese of Cariboo in British Columbia declares bankruptcy, saying it can no longer pay claims related to residential school lawsuits.
Presbyterian Church settles Indian residential schools compensation
It is the second of four churches involved in running Indian residential schools that has initiated an agreement-in-principle with the federal government to share compensation for former students claiming sexual and physical abuse.
Leaders of the Anglican Church from across Canada ratify an agreement to compensate victims with valid claims of sexual and physical abuse at Anglican-run residential schools
Together they agree the Canadian government will pay 70 per cent of the compensation and the Anglican Church of Canada will pay 30 per cent, to a maximum of $25 million.
The Assembly of First Nations launches a class action lawsuit against the Canadian government for the long-lasting harm inflicted by the residential school system
The federal government appoints the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as the government's representative to lead discussions toward a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian residential schools
The Supreme Court of Canada rules that the federal government cannot be held fully liable for damages suffered by students abused at a church-run school on Vancouver Island
The United Church carried out most of the day-to-day operations at Port Alberni Indian Residential School, where six aboriginal students claimed they were abused by a dormitory supervisor from the 1940s to the 1960s. The court ruled the church was responsible for 24 per cent of the liability.
Ottawa announces a $2-billion compensation package for aboriginal people who were forced to attend residential schools
Details of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement include an initial payout for each person who attended a residential school of $10,000, plus $3,000 per year. Approximately 86,000 people are eligible for compensation.
2006 Dec 21st
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) is reached by the parties in conflict and became the largest class action settlement in Canadian history
The class-action deal — one of the most complicated in Canadian history — was effectively settled when documents were released that said the deal had been approved by seven courts: in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Yukon. The average payout is expected to be in the vicinity of $25,000. Those who suffered physical or sexual abuse may be entitled to settlements up to $275,000.
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), a landmark compensation deal for former residential school students, comes into effect, ending what Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine called a 150-year "journey of tears, hardship and pain — but also of tremendous struggle and accomplishment"
The federal government-approved agreement will provide nearly $2 billion to the former students who had attended 130 schools. Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said he hoped the money would "close this sad chapter of history in Canada."
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Indian Affairs announces that Justice Harry LaForme, a member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation in southern Ontario, will chair the commission that Ottawa promised as part of the settlement with former students of residential schools
At the ceremony, LaForme paid homage to the estimated 90,000 living survivors of residential schools. "Your pain, your courage, your perseverance, and your profound commitment to truth made this commission a reality," he said.
LaForme, 61, is a former Ontario Indian commissioner and former chair of a federal commission on aboriginal land claims. On May 13, 2008, two additional commissioners are added to the commission. Claudette Dumont-Smith is a health professional whose work has focused largely on the Aboriginal population, and Jane Brewin Morley is a lawyer and also one of the adjudicators on a panel responsible for examining claims of sexual or serious physical abuse at residential schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is expected to begin its work on June 1, 2008.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to former students of native residential schools, marking the first formal apology by a prime minister for the federally financed program
"The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history," he says in a speech in the House of Commons.
Justice Harry LaForme resigns as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for residential schools
In a letter to Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, LaForme says the commission is on the verge of paralysis because the panel's two commissioners, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley, do not accept his authority and leadership.
Former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci, appointed in 2005 as the federal government's representative to lead discussions toward a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian residential schools, agrees to mediate negotiations aimed at getting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission back on its feet
Two of three commissioners on the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley, announce that they will step down effective June 1
Indigenous delegates from Canada visit pope at the Vatican and have a private meeting with him in which Pope Benedict XVI expresses "sorrow" to a delegation from Canada's Assembly of First Nations for the abuse and "deplorable" treatment that aboriginal students suffered at Catholic church-run residential schools
Assembly of First Nations Leader Phil Fontaine says it doesn't amount to an official apology but hopes it will "close the book" on the issue of apologies.
Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl announces the appointment of Judge Murray Sinclair, an aboriginal justice from Manitoba, as chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for residential schools
Marie Wilson, a senior executive with the N.W.T. Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission, and Wilton Littlechild, Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, are also appointed commissioners.
Justice Murray Sinclair says he'll have to work hard to restore the commission's credibility
Sinclair says people lost some faith in the commission after infighting forced the resignation of the former chairman and commissioners.
Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean relaunches the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission in an emotional ceremony at Rideau Hall
"When the present does not recognize the wrongs of the past, the future takes its revenge," Jean tells an audience that included residential school survivors. "For that reason, we must never, never turn away from the opportunity of confronting history together — the opportunity to right a historical wrong."
Canada's residential schools commission is settling into its new home — and name — in Winnipeg
New chief commissioner Justice Murray Sinclair recently moved the headquarters of the commission from Ottawa to Winnipeg. The commission has also changed its name from the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission to the Truth and Reconciliation Canada (TRC).
Investigations into cases of students who died or went missing while attending Canada's residential schools are a priority for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Sharon McIvor and her son, Jacob Grismer, bring a human rights complaint to the UNHRC, arguing that section 6 of the Indian Act violates their rights under the Covenant
The UNHRC agreed, ruling that the Indian Act discriminates on the basis of sex, in contravention of Articles 3 and 26, read in conjunction with Article 27 of the Covenant.
Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission officially opens its headquarters in Winnipeg, two years after it was first created
Thousands of Aboriginal residential school survivors meet in Winnipeg for the first national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
TRC holds the first of its seven national events
The government of Canada announces it will endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a non-binding document that describes the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples around the world
The Truth and Reconciliation Committee hails the decision as a step towards making amends.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins three months of hearings in 19 northern communities in the lead up to its second national event, which will be held in Inuvik, N.W.T. between June 28 and July 1
The Commission releases its interim report
Under the heading, “Lack of Cooperation” it lambasts the federal government for not disclosing documents. “It is unlikely that the document-collection process will be completed without a significant shift in attitude.
Justice Stephen Gouge rules that Canada must disclose its records to the commission in a useful archival format
University of Manitoba signs an agreement to host the National Research Centre for the Truth and Reconciliation, one part of the lasting legacy of the TRC
Ontario Superior court of justice rules that Canada and the OPP must disclose investigative records related to St. Anne’s residential school where staff received criminal convictions for abusing students
University of Manitoba announces Ry Moran as Executive Director of the research centre
TRC Holds its final national event in Edmonton
By the summer of 2014, the commission was preparing for the end of its mandate
Granted a one-year extension, the commissioners and research staff retrenched to focus on finalizing the daunting but exhaustive work of the final report, in addition to completing the document collection mandate of the commission. With a collection now totalling close to 7,000 statements and some five million records, establishing a permanent home for these materials became pressing.
The final complete version of the report was released on 15 December 2015, marking the final chapter in the commission’s activities and mandate
The final report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, documents the tragic experiences of approximately 150,000 Canadian residential school students. Many of these children were sexually and physically abused.
The commission also found that approximately 3,200 residential school students died of malnourishment, tuberculosis and other diseases caused by poor living conditions. Justice Murray Sinclair argued that this number is likely higher, perhaps 5 to 10 times as much; however, due to poor burial records, the commission could not report a more accurate number.
The TRC labelled the residential school system as a case of “cultural genocide.”
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