MEDIA ADVISORY – The Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s Latest Study Looks at the Potential Health and Social Impacts of Indian Residential School Lump Sum Payments

August 20, 2007

OTTAWA – The Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s latest research study, released today, has been prepared in anticipation of the imminent arrival of the $1.9 billion Common Experience Payments, a central component of Canada’s Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.

Lump Sum Compensation Payments Research Project: The Circle Rechecks Itself assesses the impact of past compensation payments to Aboriginal people. The research consisted of two phases, a first-phase literature review and a second-phase key informant survey. The second phase involved 117 field interviews conducted across western and northwestern Canada.Between 1892 and 1969, the Indian Residential School System operated across Canada through a partnership of the Federal Government and various church entities. Under federal law, “Indian,” Métis, and Inuit children were institutionalized in hostels, industrial schools, and residential schools for the purposes of Christianization and assimilation.

According to Aboriginal Healing Foundation Executive Director, Mike DeGagné, “this document presents the experiences and concerns of Indian residential school survivors, families, and community members in their own words. The goals and recommendations are grounded in community efforts to support healing, health, safety, and security.”

Today, Aboriginal communities are beginning to heal themselves from the historical legacy of physical and sexual abuse in residential school institutions, as well as the broader policies of removal of children, cultural engineering, and forcible assimilation.

“It’s not our business to tell people how to spend their compensation payments,” Mr. DeGagné added. “We have published this research because responses to crises, challenges, and opportunities developed by and for Aboriginal people are desperately needed. This study supports those recipients who will seek out practical and emotional support, whether it is trauma counseling, crisis management, investment advice, or entrepreneurship.”

The Aboriginal Healing Foundation is a not-for-profit, Aboriginal managed national funding agency which encourages and supports community-based healing efforts addressing the intergenerational legacy of physical and sexual abuse in Canada’s Indian Residential School System.

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For more information: please contact Wayne Spear, Director of Communications: (613) 324-3278, (613) 237-4441 extension 237, or toll-free 1-888-725-8886.

>>NEW! – Lump Sum Compensation Payments Study (Pdf)

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