Publications | Independent Assessment Process (IAP) Fact Sheets

Getting legal help with your IAP claim

You and the Independent Assessment Process (IAP)

The IAP is an out of court, alternative dispute resolution process. The IAP is part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (SA) which was implemented in September 2007. The Government of Canada signed this agreement with former IRS students and their lawyers as well as with legal counsel for the Assembly of First Nations and the churches which administered the schools.

Under the SA the Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS) independently administers IAP claims in a fair and impartial manner.

Why you should get legal help with your IAP claim

The decision to represent yourself or to hire a lawyer is your choice.

Keep in mind the IAP involves complex legal concepts and processes. This is why every party who signed the SA encourages you to hire a lawyer to help with your IAP claim.

If you do hire a lawyer, find someone you can trust. You will have to talk openly because your lawyer needs to know all the facts about your claim.

To find a lawyer who has helped former IRS students like you with their IAP claims, go to

How can a lawyer help you with your IAP claim?

  • A lawyer will help you understand the process.
  • A lawyer will ensure all legal aspects of your claim are taken care of. This lets you focus on healing.
  • A lawyer will advise you on the IAP’s legal concepts and processes.
  • A lawyer will help you fill out the IAP application form.
  • A lawyer will ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your claim.
  • A lawyer will give you peace of mind because you will know your interests are being looked after.

Working as a team with your IAP claim lawyer

It is your lawyer’s job to help you understand how to make an IAP claim.

If you are not sure about something, ask your lawyer about it. If you are having problems working with your lawyer, talk to your lawyer about them.

If you do these things and you still have concerns, you might want to hire a new lawyer. To learn about your rights as a lawyer’s client, contact your provincial or territorial law society.

What other help can I get as a former IRS student?

You have access to a full range of support services such as Resolution Support Workers, the Crisis Line and the IAP Info Line:

  • Counseling is available on a 24-hour basis by calling 1-866-925-4419.
  • IAP application forms and other information are available at or by calling 1-877-635-2648.

June 2011