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Lessons Learned from the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement


The Future is ours to create together. Call for ‘lessons learned’ on the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement from Residential School Survivors

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is engaging Residential School Survivors on their experiences with the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement’s (IRSSA) development, process and design. The information collected from Residential School Survivors during this project may be used to inform the development of future settlement agreements, inform ongoing work on Reconciliation in Canada and beyond, and inform the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action.

In March 2018, the NCTR received funding for a lessons learned exercise that includes community gatherings and individual statements. It is funded by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). The information collected will be compiled into a narrative report that will be released in March 2019.

This is a profoundly personal issue for Indigenous peoples. The IRSSA was a major turning point for many Indigenous communities and it continues to affect Residential School Survivors and their families.

Survivors and families need the opportunity to express their opinions and share their experiences on the Settlement Agreement. The project does not include challenging the obligations of IRSSA, nor will it, assess, reopen or resolve individual claims. However, we hope the lessons learned will influence future settlement agreements and provide the necessary feedback to prevent future mistakes, including unnecessary challenges Residential School Survivors faced during the process.

From October to December 2018, seven one-day engagements have been planned across Canada to consult First Nations, Métis and Inuit Residential School Survivors and intergenerational Survivors who have or may be affected by settlement agreements. The NCTR will also accept one-on-one interviews via email or phone from Survivors who are unable to attend the gatherings in person.

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“Ka-kí-kiskéyihtétan óma, namoya kinwés maka aciyowés pohko óma óta ka-hayayak wasétam askihk, ékwa ka-kakwéy miskétan kiskéyihtamowin, iyinísiwin, kistéyitowin, mina nánisitotatowin kakiya ayisiniwak, ékosi óma kakiya ka-wahkotowak.”

Cree Proverb