Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

September 16, 2011 13:24 ET

September 19th Deadline to Apply for Common Experience Payments

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2011) - Implementing the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) is an important milestone in Canada's efforts to promote reconciliation with Aboriginal people and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

September 19, 2011, marks the deadline to apply for the Common Experience Payment under the IRSSA which is paid to all eligible former students who resided at an Indian Residential School. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development encourages eligible former Indian Residential School Students to file their Common Experience Payment (CEP) applications. To date, of the 102,000 applications received, over 99,000 have been processed.

However, applications will be considered for up to one year after September 19, 2011, in situations where former students can establish that they were unable to submit their Common Experience Payment application due to disability, undue hardship or exceptional circumstances.

The IRSSA came into effect on September 19, 2007, following the consensus reached between legal counsel for former students, legal counsel for the Churches, the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit representatives and the Government of Canada to achieve a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. In addition to the Common Experience Payment, the IRSSA also calls for measures to support healing, commemorative activities, the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as an Independent Assessment Process.

Separate from the Common Experience Payment, the Independent Assessment Process provides former eligible students with an out-of-court avenue to resolve claims of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse, and other wrongful acts suffered at Indian Residential Schools. While September 19, 2011, marks the deadline for Common Experience Payment applications, the applications for the Independent Assessment Process can be submitted until September 19, 2012.

The Government of Canada continues to focus on an agenda of reconciliation and renewal between Aboriginal people, their families and communities, and all Canadians. Complete statistics on the Common Experience Payment and other aspects of the Indian Residential Schools Agreement can be found on AANDC's website at: www.aandc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    819-953-1160