Aboriginal residential schools: the supreme Court will review the compensation

Pensionnats autochtones: la Cour supr?me ?tudiera l'indemnisation

The supreme Court of Canada agrees to consider will be the independent mechanism that decides on the compensation paid to survivors of federally funded residential schools for Aboriginal people.

The country’s highest court has agreed to hear the appeal of an Aboriginal person – simply called “J. W.” to protect his identity -who says he was sexually assaulted by a nun in a boarding school federal in Manitoba. “J. W.” argues that the nun touched his penis while he was making the queue for the showers in the boarding school.

However, the adjudicator in the case has denied the claim because “J. W.” had not been able to prove that the gesture of the nun was “sexual in nature”. The man has not been able to overturn this decision at the stage of adjudication.

By contrast, a court manitoba has criticized the mechanism of appeal to the adjudication Secretariat, and he ordered the case reopened.

The federal government subsequently successfully challenged this decision: the Manitoba Court of appeal has ruled that the rules of an independent mechanism for adjudication does not allow for judicial review of a decision made. The supreme Court of Canada now accepts to settle the question.

For over a century, tens of thousands of aboriginal children were taken from their families and placed in federally funded residential schools, often run by religious communities. Many have suffered abuse, physical, sexual or psychological. One forbade them also to speak their mother tongue and preserve their culture.

The Convention of the indian residential schools settlement agreement was concluded in 2006 between legal counsel for former students, legal counsel for the Churches, the Assembly of First Nations, other aboriginal organizations and the government of Canada “to achieve a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy”.

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