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Section I: Overview

Minister's Message

Chuck Strahl

I am pleased to present the 2006–2007 Departmental Performance Report for Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada.

It is a great privilege for me to assume the responsibility for Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada, the department dedicated to resolving the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system. Resolution is key to strengthening the Government's relationship with Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Since taking office, this Government has taken decisive action towards resolution and healing. On May 10, 2006, the Government announced the conclusion of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, reached with legal representatives of former students of Indian Residential Schools, the Churches involved in running the schools, the Assembly of First Nations, the Mtis National Council and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. This historic Settlement Agreement is just and honourable, and is intended to foster reconciliation and the renewal of relationships between Aboriginal peoples, their families and communities, the Government of Canada, the Churches involved in the running of Indian Residential Schools, and all Canadians.

The Settlement Agreement proposes a series of individual and collective measures which provide tangible acknowledgement to former students of their Indian Residential School experience and give former students and their families and communities the opportunity to share their experiences with all Canadians.

I am pleased to report that on March 21, 2007, the Settlement Agreement was approved by the Courts in all nine Canadian jurisdictions. In addition, Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada successfully completed the Advance Payment program, which was established to ensure that elderly former students received a portion of their Common Experience Payment in advance of the implementation of the Settlement Agreement. We now turn our attention to the implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and moving forward in a spirit of partnership with Aboriginal communities across the country.

This Departmental Performance Report describes the Department's performance for fiscal year 2006 – 2007 and its commitment to resolving the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

The Honourable Chuck Strahl, P.C., M.P.

Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006–2007 Departmental Performance Report for Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2006–2007 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the department's approved Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Activity Architecture that were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved numbers from the Estimates and the Public Accounts of Canada.

________________________________

Peter Harrison
Executive Director and Deputy Head

Summary Information

Department's Reason for Existence

Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada is dedicated to resolving claims and addressing issues arising from the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. The mandate serves the Government of Canada's larger objective of reconciliation and building a new relationship with Aboriginal peoples.

Within this mandate, the Department has undertaken to:

  • Resolve claims in a timely fashion, through litigation and other methods of dispute resolution that are compassionate for claimants;
  • Work with the Department of Justice which represents the Government of Canada in the litigation process, where chosen by claimants;
  • Work with former Indian Residential Schools students, their families and communities in support of projects that promote healing and reconciliation;
  • Work with federal government departments, provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples and organizations, Churches involved in running Indian Residential Schools, and other interested groups; and
  • Promote awareness and public education of Canadians about the impacts of the Indian Residential Schools system.

Financial Resources ($ millions)


 

2006–2007

 

Planned Spending

Total Authorities

Actual Spending

$208.6

$243.1

$224.5


Human Resources (Full-time equivalents)


 

2006–2007

 

Planned

Actual

Difference

300.0 FTEs

276.0 FTEs

24.0 FTEs


 


 

2006–2007

Status on Performance

Planned Spending

Actual Spending

Strategic Outcome:

The Department has one strategic outcome which is to advance reconciliation between former students of Indian Residential Schools and the Government of Canada.

Priority No. 1:

Supporting court approval and ensuring successful implementation of the Settlement Agreement.

The Settlement Agreement provides for:

  1. Independent Assessment Process which will resolve a minimum of 2,500 claims per year;
  2. A Common Experience Payment for every eligible former student living on May 30, 2005;
  3. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission which will promote public education and awareness about the Indian Residential Schools system and its legacy;
  4. Commemoration projects expected to enhance the well-being of former students, their families and communities.

As required by class action legislation, the Settlement Agreement was approved by the Courts in nine Canadian jurisdictions on March 21, 2007.

$126 M

$104.0 M

Priority No. 2:

Resolving claims efficiently and compassionately through the National Resolution Framework.

Resolving claims through the National Resolution Framework.

Increased effectiveness in resolution of claims.

$76.1 M

$114.1 M

Priority No. 3:

Maintaining effective and collaborative partnerships with Aboriginal people and their communities.

Providing funding support for public education and consultation, survivor conferences, etc. related to the impact of Indian Residential Schools. Providing additional funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation for community-based healing projects for former Indian Residential Schools students.

Successfully maintained collaborative working relationships with representatives of former students and Aboriginal organizations. Successfully delivered community-based healing projects through the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

$6.5 M

$6.4 M


Operating Environment

The Department delivers its claims resolution program in an environment characterized by the need to continue the pre-court mandated Settlement Agreement process of the National Resolution Framework working closely with Aboriginal organizations; the continued need for horizontal cooperation within the federal government and with provincial governments; and sharing of responsibilities for program delivery with Service Canada and Health Canada. The Settlement Agreement is a class action settlement that binds all parties as a result of the approval by the Courts. There are Government of Canada representatives on the National Certification Committee which will oversee the administration of the class action proceedings, and the National Administration Committee which will oversee the implementation of the Settlement Agreement once it is approved. With respect to its responsibilities under the Settlement Agreement, the Government has accountabilities to the National Administration Committee and ultimately to the Courts.

Priorities


Priority 1: Supporting court approval and ensuring successful implementation of the Settlement Agreement.


The Settlement Agreement announced on May 10, 2006, between the Government of Canada and legal counsel for former Indian Residential Schools students, legal counsel for the Churches involved in the running of the schools, the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations is designed to achieve a fair and lasting resolution of the Indian Residential Schools legacy. As required by class action legislation, the Settlement Agreement was approved by the Courts in nine Canadian jurisdictions on March 21, 2007.

Overview of the Settlement Agreement:

  • A Common Experience Payment will be paid to every eligible former student living on May 30, 2005, the day the negotiations were initiated, who resided at a recognized Indian Residential School. The Settlement Agreement stipulates that $1.9 Billion be set aside for the direct benefit of former Indian Residential Schools students. Subject to verification, each eligible former student who applies will receive $10,000 for the first year or part of a year of residence as well as an additional $3,000 for each subsequent year of residence;
  • An Independent Assessment Process will be available for a period of five years following the implementation date of the Settlement Agreement. This is an enhanced alternative dispute resolution process that will become the mechanism for former students to pursue claims of sexual and serious physical abuse and other wrongful acts which are proven to have caused serious psychological consequences, unless they have formally opted out of the Settlement Agreement;
  • Expanded access to Health Canada's existing Resolution Health Support Program to ensure that former students and their family members have access to mental health and emotional support;
  • A Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be established with a budget of $60 million over five years. It will be mandated to promote public education and awareness about the Indian Residential Schools system and its legacy, as well as to provide former students, their families and communities an opportunity to share their Indian Residential Schools experiences in a safe and culturally-appropriate environment. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission will undertake a series of national and community events and will establish a research centre for ongoing access to the records collected through the work of the Commission;
  • New funding for Commemoration, for a total of $20 million, to be made available for events and memorials to commemorate the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, to be managed by the Government in conjunction with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
  • An endowment of $100 million for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation to allow for continued operations and funding of healing programs for former Indian Residential Schools students and their families and a $25 million advance payment to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation as a bridge fund;
  • Church entities involved in the administration of Indian Residential Schools will contribute up to a total of $100 million in cash and services toward healing initiatives.

The Advance Payment program was launched on May 10, 2006, for eligible former Indian Residential Schools students 65 years of age or older as of May 30, 2005, to ensure that elderly former students may receive a tangible acknowledgement of their experience as soon as possible in advance of the proposed Common Experience Payment. This highly successful initiative was completed during the fiscal year with a total of 10,326 elders receiving $82.6 million in advance payments to their Common Experience Payment.


Priority 2: Resolving claims efficiently and compassionately through the National Resolution Framework.


To this end, the Department strives to achieve its mandate and strategic outcome by continuing the process of the pre-court mandated Settlement Agreement process of the National Resolution Framework which includes an Alternative Dispute Resolution process, a litigation strategy, and a Mental Health Support Program.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution process, the centrepiece of the National Resolution Framework is designed to be a fair, safe and timely out-of-court option for resolving claims. The litigation process provides an option for former students who choose not to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. The Department will continue to resolve claims through the existing National Resolution Framework. Although Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada has overall responsibility for the National Resolution Framework, program components of the new Resolution Health Support Program will continue to be delivered and funded by Health Canada.


Priority 3: Maintaining effective and collaborative partnerships with Aboriginal peoples and their communities.


The Department continues to work with key stakeholders. Partnerships were strengthened throughout discussions and negotiations between the federal government and representatives of former Indian Residential Schools students, the Churches involved in the running of the schools, the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations.

The resulting Settlement Agreement speaks to the dedication and commitment of all stakeholders involved in negotiations and leads the way to stronger partnerships with Aboriginal peoples. The Department will continue to work with Aboriginal partners towards a successful implementation of the Settlement Agreement.