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Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Analysis by Program Activity

Strategic Outcome

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

Program Activity: Claims Resolution

The Department has one program activity which is the resolution of claims associated with the operation of the former Indian Residential Schools system. The Department has focused all its efforts on this program activity via the operation of the National Resolution Framework and the Settlement Agreement.

Financial Resources

Planned Spending


Actual Spending




Human Resources




300.0 FTEs

276.0 FTEs

24.0 FTEs

Operation of the National Resolution Framework

The National Resolution Framework has been the central vehicle to achieve the Department's program activity and planned results of resolution of Indian Residential Schools claims since 2003. The National Resolution Framework was the pre-settlement process that continues to offer resolutions in two streams – Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation (with the option to settle out of court or to proceed to trial), and includes a Resolution Health Support Program.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Alternative Dispute Resolution process is a voluntary and confidential process designed to be a timely, fair and safe way for claimants to resolve validated physical and sexual abuse claims, including wrongful confinement claims, outside of the litigation process. Applications for claimants who are 60 years and older and/or are in failing health have been given priority. Alternative Dispute Resolution involves an application process and private hearings before an independent adjudicator. The Adjudicator as an independent decision-maker is responsible for setting compensation awards within an established compensation framework. The claimant has the option to accept the award, appeal the decision or pursue litigation.

The Department continued to accept Alternative Dispute Resolution applications until the court Approval Date, which was March 21, 2007, after which point applications were no longer accepted into the existing process. It is expected that some claimants will move their claims to the new Independent Assessment Process. The Department settled 1,163 Alternative Dispute Resolution claims during 2006-2007.


Not all claimants choose to resolve their abuse claims through the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. Former students or family members can remove themselves from the Settlement Agreement by opting out. In doing so they will not be bound by the Settlement or receive any benefits therein. The Department of Justice represents the Government of Canada in Indian Residential Schools claims and continues to work to resolve claims prior to entering the trial stage. Counsel for claimants in litigation who are elderly or ill may approach the Department of Justice to seek expedition in the resolution of their claims out of court. Resolution of litigation claims is a more time consuming process since the Government has little control over the pace of litigation and is largely dependent on the rules of the court and court schedules. The Department settled 491 litigation claims for 2006-2007.

Resolution Health Support Program

The Resolution Health Support Program delivered by Health Canada provides a variety of flexible "frontline" safety supports and coordination services directly to former students involved in the Alternative Dispute Resolution process and the litigation process. Services include access to mental health counselling sessions, on-site emotional health supports by trained Aboriginal health providers, and, transportation costs to traditional healers, to ensure that former students and family members have access to appropriate levels of counselling and mental health supports. Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada funds a 24-hour crisis support line that is operated by trained Aboriginal crisis support workers.

Although Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada has overall responsibility for the National Resolution Framework, the Resolution Health Support Program component is delivered and funded by Health Canada.

Implementation of the Settlement Agreement

The Settlement Agreement is a class action settlement that binds all parties with the approval by the Courts. Now approved, there will be no possibilities for derogation and the Courts will have the authority to make the Government of Canada accountable for breaches of the Settlement Agreement within its responsibility. Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada is the lead Department for the administration of programmatic elements within the Settlement Agreement and will share program delivery responsibilities with Health Canada and Service Canada.

Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada will be responsible for the administration of the Independent Assessment Process; the start up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; the administration of the Commemoration Program; and the transfer of a $100 million endowment for a five year period to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation in accordance with the Funding Agreement included in the Settlement Agreement which will be added to the $25 million advance payment to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation as a bridge fund. Health Canada will be responsible for delivery of the Resolution Health Support Program and Service Canada in conjunction with Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada for the delivery of the Common Experience Payment. In addition, Indian Residential Schools Canada will participate in the work of the Church entities which are responsible for programs and services directed to healing and reconciliation for former Indian Residential Schools students and their families.

The Department is preparing for the transition from the operation of the existing National Resolution Framework to the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement was approved by the Courts on March 21, 2007. An Opt-Out Period began on March 22, 2007 to last 150 days until August 20, 2007. During this time period, former students were given the opportunity to either remain in the settlement or remove themselves (opt-out) from it.

The Department began the Advance Payment program in May 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 received a tangible acknowledgement of their experience in advance of the proposed Common Experience Payment. Applications for Advance Payments were accepted until December 31, 2006. The Advance Payment Program was completed within the allocated timeframe as planned and a total of 10,326 former students received $82,608,000 in payment through this Program.