THUNDER BAY – Individuals who attended Canada’s Residential Schools have a process to go through for resolving claims related to abuse suffered during their time at the schools. There are a number of important dates to keep in mind for those persons as well.
September 19, 2012 is the Deadline for former Indian Residential Schools students to apply for an Independent Assessment Process (IAP) payment. The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is an out-of-court process created to resolve claims of abuse at Indian Residential Schools. People who suffered sexual abuse, serious physical abuse, or certain other wrongful acts which caused serious psychological consequences while at a recognized residential school may receive money through the IAP. Awards are based on a point system for different abuses and resulting harms.
The IAP process is separate and different from the Common Experience Payment (CEP) application process. The CEP is a payment to those who lived at a recognized residential school. The IAP provides payments for specific abuse suffered while at a recognized residential school. Under the settlement, former students could apply for the CEP, or for the IAP, or for both the CEP and IAP. The CEP application deadline was September 19, 2011; however, where former students can establish that they were unable to submit their CEP application due to disability, undue hardship or exceptional circumstances they can still apply for CEP up until September 19, 2012.
Eligible former students can apply for an IAP payment if they experienced (1) sexual abuse, (2) serious physical abuse, or (3) certain other wrongful acts which caused serious psychological consequences, while they were either (a) living at residential school, (b) a student at a residential school, or (c) under the age of 21 and allowed to be at residential school to take part in authorized school activities. It is not a requirement to have lived at one of the recognized residential schools in order to make an IAP claim for abuse that may have occurred there. Decisions regarding a number of other schools are in progress. A complete and updated list of recognized residential schools is available at www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca.
To apply for an Independent Assessment Process payment eligible former students must complete and submit an application form by September 19, 2012. Applications after this date will not be accepted. To get an application, please call 1-866-879-4913 or go to www.iap-pei.ca or www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca.
Those that have already applied do not need to apply again. Applicants who have not received a decision, or have questions about their IAP application, should (1) contact their lawyer or legal representative; (2) call 1-866-879-4913; or (3) send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on the IAP application process is available at 1-866-879-4913 and at the www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca website. The IRS Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) provides immediate and culturally appropriate counselling support to former students who are experiencing distress.