Supreme Court to examine process for deciding residential school compensation

At issue is whether adjudicators' decisions can be reviewed by the courts

February 08, 2018

Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. It has agreed to hear the case of a Manitoba man denied compensation in the independent assessment process of the residential schools settlement agreement. (Albert Couillard/CBC)

The Supreme Court of Canada will look at the process used to determine compensation for former residential school students.

The high court has agreed to hear the appeal of an Indigenous man — known only as J.W. due to privacy considerations — who claims he was sexually assaulted by a nun while attending a residential school in Manitoba.


At issue is whether the decisions of adjudicators in such cases can be reviewed by the courts.

For over a century, tens of thousands of Indigenous children were required to attend residential schools, primarily run by religious institutions and funded by the federal government.

Students were not allowed to use their languages or cultural practices.

Former pupils provided accounts of physical, sexual and emotional abuse as part of an independent assessment process to determine compensation — a program that flowed from a major 2006 settlement agreement aimed at ensuring a lasting resolution of the residential schools legacy.

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