IAP winding down, efforts to reach lost claimants stepped up
- EFN Staff | May 20, 2015
Efforts to reach claimants who suffered abuse at Indian Residential Schools and who cannot be located are being stepped up as the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is winding down.
"We are on track to complete hearings for claimants who suffered abuse at Indian Residential Schools by the Spring of 2016," said Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro. "However, there are over 400 claimants that we have not heard from for an extended time. We need to reach these individuals in order to resolve their claims," he said.
Claimants who have unresolved claims in the Independent Assessment Process and who have not heard anything about the progress of their claim over the last several months are urged to contact their lawyer, or call the IAP Information line (1-877-635-2648) to ensure that their claims continue to move forward.
The Independent Assessment Process provides compensation to former students for abuse they suffered at Indian Residential Schools. The IAP was established in 2007 under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class action suit in Canadian history. The IAP is a claimant-centred process that supports healing and reconciliation. It operates independently from the parties to the Agreement, including the Government of Canada.
As of March 31, 2015, the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat had received 37,962 applications for compensation under the IAP. More than 83% (31,595) of the claims have been resolved, and more than $2.78 billion has been paid out in compensation by the Government of Canada. There are still over 6,300 claims in progress.
Chief Adjudicator Dan Shapiro is seeking the help of Aboriginal communities in locating lost claimants to ensure they are aware that the IAP is winding down. Thousands of notices have been distributed to band offices, friendship centres, health centres and other community organizations, and Public Service Announcements are being distributed to Aboriginal community radio stations. The Secretariat has also produced a short video that is available on its YouTube channel. "If you know someone who has an unresolved claim, please remind them that it is important that they contact their lawyer or our toll-free Information line so their claim can be resolved," said Shapiro.
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