The Grand Council of the Crees

Residential School Settlement Update Bulletin # 9

Residential School Settlement Update Bulletin # 9

Posted: 2008-02-05

A. HOW IS THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BEING ADMINISTERED?

The Settlement Agreement provides for a National Administration Committee ("NAC") to oversee the implementation and administration of the Settlement Agreement.  The NAC is made up of lawyers representing Canada, the Churches, the Class Action Lawyers, the Inuit, the AFN and the Independent Lawyers.  In all, survivors' lawyers have a majority of seats on the NAC.

The Agreement states that the NAC cannot make decisions which have budget consequences. It can, however, ask the supervising courts for directions where there is an issue of interpretation of the Agreement. The courts' decision would be binding on all parties including Canada.

As issues arise concerning the implementation of the Settlement Agreement, they are brought to the attention of the NAC through the various representatives. Diane Soroka is part of the Independent Lawyers group and has been attending their meetings.

B. UPDATE ON COMMON EXPERIENCE PAYMENT ("CEP")

1. Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 If I've already submitted my CEP application form, and I get another one in the mail, does this mean they haven't received my application?

A. No. You are simply receiving duplicates of the application form. If there is a problem with your CEP application, you will receive a phone call or a letter about it.

Q.2 Is it possible to apply for the CEP on behalf of someone who passed away before May 30, 2005?

A. No. The only exception is where the person who passed away attended the Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario. In that case, you can apply for the CEP if that person passed away after October 5, 1996. You will have to submit the application form and documents discussed below at Q.3.

Q.3 Is it possible to apply for the CEP on behalf of someone who passed away after May 30, 2005?

A. Yes. You will need to use the special CEP Application Form for Personal Representative or Estate. You will also have to show that you are the Liquidator (Executor) of the estate. To do this, you will need a copy of the Will (if there was one) or Court Order (if there was one) naming you as Liquidator, or you can have a document signed by the majority of the heirs agreeing to appoint you as Liquidator. For this, you can also use the Revenue Quebec form called "Designation of the Liquidator of a Succession".

Q.4 When is the deadline for CEP applications?

A. You have four years to apply. You must apply before September 19, 20ll.

Q.5 Who is eligible to apply for the CEP?

A. Anyone who resided at a recognized residential school and who did not opt out of the settlement agreement.

2. Problems with CEP Payments

A great many survivors are not getting their full CEP payments, often because school records are missing. In some cases, there may be a problem with the computer program being used to process the applications. The NAC is aware of some of the problems and further discussions will have to take place to see how these will be dealt with.

In the meantime, individuals who do not get the full payment can ask for a "reconsideration" of their file. It is not necessary to submit documentation with the request, but it can certainly be useful to do so. Documentation can include things like photographs, report cards, letters, newspaper articles about the school or school activities which mention the individual, affidavits from people who were at the school and who remember the individual making the claim, etc.

There is no limit to the number of times an individual can ask for a reconsideration, right up until the end of the CEP process (September 18, 2011).

If you want to ask for a reconsideration:

Click here for the reconsideration form. If the link doesn't work, the form is available on the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada website.

Applications for Reconsideration can be submitted by mail, fax, email or telephone:

Common Experience Payment Response Centre
P.O. Box 5260
Nepean LCD Merivale
Ottawa, ON K2C 3H5
Fax: 1-866-352-4080
E-mail: reconsideration@irsr-rqpi.gc.ca
CEP Response Centre Toll Free: 1-866-565-4526

3. Boarding Homes

The NAC has decided to try to deal with the issue of children who were taken from their homes and placed in boarding homes in order to attend school. The NAC has asked Canada to include those who were in the boarding homes. It appears that the NAC is prepared to go to the supervising courts, if necessary, to have the courts determine whether the Agreement should be interpreted as including children sent to boarding homes. This is potentially good news for many, many survivors. However, it will take several months before we know the outcome.

If the supervising courts decide that the Agreement cannot be interpreted as including boarding homes, individuals who were placed in boarding homes will still have the option of starting legal proceedings against Canada to try to claim compensation.

4. Additional Schools and Residences

We have asked that the student hostels ("group homes") at Mistassini, Fort George and Moose Factory be added to the list of schools and residences for compensation. Note that the student hostels at Whapmagoostui are already on the list.

So far, no decisions have been made and we have been informed that research is being carried out to see whether these should be added. We will keep you informed.

5. Statistics on the CEP

The following are the statistics as of January 28, 2008 for the CEP process for all of Canada: