Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 24, 2003
Natives oppose residential compensation deal
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
The Anglican Church of Canada has ratified an agreement on compensating victims of validated claims of sexual and physical abuse at Anglican-run residential schools but the organization that represents Anglican natives wants nothing to do with it.
"When the settlement agreement is signed and made official by the primate on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada, he will not be doing so in our name," said the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples.
The council said it fears that the deal will have damaging effects upon survivors and their descendants.
"We oppose the requirement of survivors to waive all future claims for loss of language and culture in order to gain a settlement for physical and sexual abuse - a requirement which we understand to be an extinguishment of our aboriginal rights to our languages, cultures and traditions," it said.
Under the agreement, Ottawa will pay 70 per cent of the compensation and the Anglican Church of Canada will pay 30 per cent up to a maximum of $25 million.
Former residential school students have filed 12,000 claims for compensation against the government and the four churches that operated the schools.
The Anglican Church is named in 18 per cent of the compensation claims.
Over 70 per cent of the claims are from former students who attended schools run by Catholic Church organizations.
But talks with the government have been stalemated since negotiations between the three national churches and Catholic organizations, under the name, Catholic Organizations' Task Group on Indian Residential Schools, (COTG) fell apart in October 2001 when Ottawa arbitrarily announced the 70-30 formula for validated claims.