An agreement-in-principle has been reached outlining how the Anglican Church and the Government of Canada will participate in compensating former Indian residential school students who suffered sexual and physical abuse. Ralph Goodale, Minister responsible for Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and the Most Reverend Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, made the announcement today.
The agreement would provide compensation to former students with validated claims, who attended Anglican Indian residential schools.
“The moral leadership shown by the Anglican Church in accepting the responsibility to the former students of the Anglican residential schools has opened the door to this agreement-in-principle,” says Minister Goodale. “Instead of meeting each other in court, Canada and the Anglican Church can focus our efforts together to settle the thousands of outstanding claims in a more supportive way for victims, who continue to be our first priority.”
This agreement-in-principle, when accepted by the Anglican dioceses across Canada, preserves the financial integrity of the Anglican Church while opening new pathways to closure, healing and reconciliation for all the parties.
“This agreement is part of our commitment to healing and reconciliation within the Anglican Church of Canada and within Canadian society,” says Archbishop Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. “I have sat in healing circles and heard the painful stories of abuse. By entering into this agreement, we are saying that we have heard those stories, that we acknowledge our tragic part in them, and that we will take up our new role not only in addressing the abuses of the past, but in seeking a new and life-giving way of living together as native and non-native Canadians, in the church and in society.”
The agreement-in-principle between Canada and the Anglican Church will see the Church approach lawsuits for compensation from former students as a whole denomination, involving all the dioceses. The highlights include:
- Payment of 70 per cent by Canada and 30 per cent by the Anglican Church for all validated sexual and physical abuse claims at Anglican Indian residential schools up to a maximum Church contribution of $25 M.
- All Anglican dioceses will be invited to contribute to the payment of compensation.
- The Anglican Church will co-operate in the resolution of Indian residential schools abuse claims, and continue its dedication to the healing of individuals and reconciliation with all parties.
- The Anglican Church will create a separate corporation to establish a Settlement Fund to pay compensation to survivors of sexual and physical abuse.
- The cessation of the practice of naming the Church as a party in court cases or ‘third partying’
- The delivery of 100 per cent of compensation to former students of Anglican residential schools with validated claims.
“This agreement with the Anglican Church will help remove barriers to healing for those individuals who have been abused,” said Minister Goodale.
The agreement-in-principle, negotiated over the past ten months, must now be ratified by the 30 independent Anglican dioceses across Canada and signed by the federal government.
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