The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement – the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. The agreement aims to bring a fair and lasting resolution to the harm caused by residential schools. It involved representatives of Aboriginal groups, churches, the government of Canada, and the legal profession. It was approved by the courts.
The IAP is for former students who have a claim of sexual or serious physical abuse. It provides them with a way to settle their claim more quickly, out of court. The process is designed to be claimant-centred, but fair and neutral. It is an adjudication process. The Adjudicator resolves claims and awards compensation.
The deadline to submit an application under the Independent Assessment Process was September 19, 2012.
The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat does the paper work and support work to make the Independent Assessment Process go smoothly. They:
The Executive Director of the Secretariat reports to the Chief Adjudicator.
The Chief Adjudicator of the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) directs the work of the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS), the administrative body that manages the IAP hearing process. IRSAS is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that was established under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement in 2007 to resolve claims of emotional, physical or sexual abuse suffered by former students of Indian Residential Schools. Dan Shapiro was appointed as Chief Adjudicator in July 2013.
The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is a claimant-centred process that supports healing and reconciliation among former students, their families and communities.
The IAP provides former students with an opportunity to come forward and speak of their experience at residential schools in an atmosphere of safety and respect. For many claimants, this opportunity is a transformational moment. I feel honoured to have witnessed many powerful examples of intergenerational healing since I began presiding at hearings to resolve claims of abuse.
The IAP has resolved thousands of cases of abuse since it was established under the Settlement Agreement in 2007. As we enter the final third of our mandate, my commitment to former students is to keep our focus on a claimant-centered approach and to ensure that claimants receive all of the benefits they are entitled to under the Settlement Agreement.
I am proud to help former students resolve their claims of abuse. I remain committed to doing everything I can to ensure that the process bring them honour and helps them on their journey of healing and reconciliation.
Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat
Adjudicators preside over hearings and make decisions about claims. There are also Deputy Chief Adjudicators, who help the Chief Adjudicator in his role. They often assist with complicated cases. The responsibilities of Adjudicators include: