Former Chief still fighting for compensation in St. Anne's residential school abuse case

A former Chief of Fort Albany is again seeking compensation for survivors of abuse at Ste. Anne's Residential School.

'We have to talk to the Canadian public,' says Edmund Metatawabin

Edmund Metatawabin, 66, a survivor of St. Anne's residential school in Fort Albany, Ont., is seen here during a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Monday, July 29, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

For the fifth time, a former Chief of Fort Albany is in a Toronto courtroom seeking compensation for survivors of abuse at St. Anne's Residential School.

Edmund Metatawabin, himself a St. Anne's survivor, told CBC in December that he's aware of instances where other survivors were denied compensation for suffering caused by use of a homemade electric chair, or for being forced to eat their own vomit at the residential school.

They were denied, Metatawabin said, because of the lack of documentation.

Metatawabin and others are still trying to obtain documents they believe were withheld during the Independent Assessment Process.

Ottawa was forced in 2014 by an Ontario court to release thousands of pages of OPP documents from an investigation launched in the 1990s into abuse claims at St. Anne's.

Justice Canada held the OPP documents within its archives but never disclosed them to survivors who were seeking compensation for the abuse.

"It's more or less they were saying, we didn't know you were looking for the blue ones, or some other kind of silly response from them," Metatawabin said.

Metatawabin described the use of excessive torture on St. Anne's students in his book Up Ghost River.

"We have to talk to the Canadian public," he said. "We have to talk to the courts and have them place this in the middle so we can talk about it and let them be the judge of that."

"And this is a very slow process."

A rally on this issue will be held in front of the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto Tuesday morning.