Jobs Events Advertise

Canadian government to pay $3 billion in compensation to First Nations, Métis and Inuit survivors of residential schools

Giovanni Torre -

The Canadian government will pay A$3billion in compensation to hundreds of Indigenous communities for decades of abuse suffered by First Nations, Métis and Inuit children in residential schools.

The settlement, announced on Saturday, is the result of a class action lawsuit by 325 Indigenous groups.

In a statement the Indigenous groups said the 2.8billion Canadian dollar payout will be placed in a not-for-profit trust, independent of the government and used to "revitalise Indigenous education, culture, and language - to support survivors in healing and reconnecting with their heritage".

One of the class action plaintiffs, senior member of the Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation, Garry Feschuk, said in the statement that Canada had taken "far too long to own up to its history, own up to the genocide it committed and recognise the collective harm caused to our nations by residential schools".

"It is time that Canada not only recognise this harm, but help undo it by walking with us. This settlement is a good first step," he said.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada investigated the period 1883 to 1996 and eight years of research determined that more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were sent to residential "schools" after being removed from their families.

The Commission's report issued in 2015 estimated some 80,000 of the former students were still living.

Prior to the establishment of the Commission a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples had highlighted the abuse experienced by students of the schools and the serious on-going repercussions of their separation from family and culture.

At the schools, largely owned and run by the Catholic church, the children were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment.

Isolated from their families and prohibited from observing their culture and using their language, many of the children were physically and sexually abused, and vast numbers died of disease, malnutrition or neglect.

More than 1,300 mass graves have been discovered on the grounds of abandoned residential schools in recent years, leading to apologies from Pope Francis and shining a spotlight on one of the darkest elements of Canada's past.

Shane Gottfriedson, of Tk'emlups Indian Band and former British Columbia chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the residental school system "decimated our languages, profoundly damaged our cultures, and left a legacy of social harms".

"The effects go beyond my generation. It will take many generations for us to heal," he said.

Canadian federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller said the government believes "all survivors deserve justice and the compensation to which they are owed".

The details for the disbursing of the funds will be determined by the federal court of Canada in late February.

   Related   

Canada's largest private sector union condemns arrest of First Nations journalist, warns of threat to democracy
Canada's largest private sector union has slammed the arrest and charging of an Indigenous journalist as a threat to "Canadian n...
Giovanni Torre 1 Mar 2024
Raging Amazon fires threaten Brazil's Yanomami people
Brazil's northernmost state of Roraima is suffering a sharp spike in wildfires, threatening the crisis-wracked Yanomami Indigeno...
NZ government set to "disestablish" Māori Health Authority
The Aotearoa coalition government has moved one step closer to fulfilling their electoral promise of disestablishing Te Aka Whai...
Dechlan Brennan 28 Feb 2024
First Nations leaders condemn delay to British Columbia land rights reforms
The First Nations Leadership Council said this week that it is "extremely disappointed" with the decision to postpone introducti...
Giovanni Torre 22 Feb 2024

   Giovanni Torre   

Canada's largest private sector union condemns arrest of First Nations journalist, warns of threat to democracy
Canada's largest private sector union has slammed the arrest and charging of an Indigenous journalist as a threat to "Canadian n...
Giovanni Torre 1 Mar 2024
Mystery around locations of native forestry plan
The location of native forest parcels slated to be logged in Tasmania under a Liberal government election pledge may not be made...
Ethan James 1 Mar 2024
Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation strikes deal for "equal footing in future decision-making" over Murujuga country
Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation has "defined a new approach" to agreement-making in Australia, following the signing Thursday of...
Giovanni Torre 1 Mar 2024
Funding boost expands Junior Ranger program to 50 new sites
The Federal government announced on Thursday that it is expanding the Junior Ranger program, offering on-Country learning to Abo...
Giovanni Torre 29 Feb 2024