House of Commons Aboriginal Affairs Committee calls on federal government to scrap the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process for claims by survivors of abuse at Indian Residential Schools. Click here to read the entire article on-line at Turtle Island Native Network. Some of the reasons stated in their recommendation include:
- "It is strikingly disconnected from the so-called pilot projects that preceded it.
- The consultative mechanisms that informed its development did not include a sufficiently broad range of participation by former residential school students and other relevant professionals - legal, cultural, psychological and healing
- It is failing to provide impartial and even-handed due process - It is not attracting former students to apply in credible numbers
- It is structured to compensate too narrow a population of former students
- It provides grossly inadequate compensation when it grudgingly does so - It excludes too many of the +/- 87,000 remaining former students from eligibility
- It is proceeding too slowly, allowing too many former students to die uncompensated
- It is using a model of dispute resolution that is disrespectful, humiliating, unfeeling and re-victimizes former students, who are now elderly and vulnerable
- It is an arbitrary administrative solution that is vulnerable to political whim
- Its high structural costs are fixed and will always be disproportionate to the size of compensation granted
- Its so-called verification process imposes an egregious burden of proof on the applicants that programs failure into the resolutions process, requires irrelevant data and imposes a cost on the applicant that can exceed the size of an award
- Former students do not trust the process
- There is no satisfactory evidence in the numbers that the program is working."
The AFN's press release dated March 24 in response to the Aboriginal Affairs Committee recommendation is also available on-line. Click here to read the AFN press release
Excerpts from recent testimony (February 2005) by survivors who provided input into the study by the House of Commons Aboriginal Affairs Committee of the federal government's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process to deal with claims of abuse are also available on-line (click here to read stories from residential school survivors as presented to this committee).