Residential School Survivors Seek Justice for Canada’s Failure through International Commission

OTTAWA, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum has reaffirmed NAN’s commitment to seeking justice for Indian Residential School Survivors following the passing of an Assembly of First Nations resolution calling for the establishment of an independent international commission to examine how Survivors were failed by the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement and the Government of Canada.

“Now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by Survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School, legal options in Canada appear to be exhausted in their ongoing legal battle with the federal government. This is why this resolution is critical – we need to hold Canada accountable,” said Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum. “Reconciliation cannot be achieved without justice for all Indigenous Peoples, and this may be the only opportunity left for Survivors to receive the justice they deserve.”

Today, the Assembly of First Nations passed Resolution #50/2022 Justice and Reconciliation for Indian Residential School Survivors and Missing Children and Unmarked Graves at the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa. It calls for the AFN to seek justice internationally for Canada’s role in human rights violations, crimes against children, missing children and unmarked graves, and genocide against Indigenous Peoples.

“In my homeland, there was much suffering of children that were sexually abused, physically abused. Just this week a Survivor told me of his experience being put in an electric chair twice, as well as being forced to eat his own vomit. Some of the most horrific abuses in Canada happened at St. Anne’s Residential School,” said Fort Albany Chief Elizabeth Kataquapit, who championed the Resolution.

Developed with the NAN SAFE Council and brought forward by NAN Chiefs, the Resolution also directs the AFN to seek justice through international processes to hold the Government of Canada and the Churches accountable for their actions and for the violation of human rights.

NAN SAFE Council members (a survivor-led advisory council) and Survivors from across NAN territory agree that reconciliation cannot be considered unless justice for all IRS Survivors has been achieved.

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790

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