Feds ask for independent review of documents for St. Anne's residential school claims

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Ottawa is requesting an independent review of thousands of documents detailing sexual and physical abuse of Indigenous children at St. Anne's residential school.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the third-party review is in response to concerns raised by some St. Anne's survivors who say the government failed to disclose all relevant documents as part of the compensation model created by the federal Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Before 2015, certain documents relevant to St. Anne's, in Fort Albany, Ont., were also not included in the out-of-court compensation model created by the settlement agreement — a move the court ruled was an error on Canada's part and said it should be fixed.

Bennett says the Liberal government understands this has affected the trust and healing of some survivors of St. Anne's, which operated from 1902 to 1976.

She believes a third-party review would ensure timely court intervention and would not require extra steps from St. Anne's survivors, their families or communities to participate.

Canada will also provide dedicated health-support funding for the survivors during this process, given the distressing nature of ongoing issues before the court for them and their families.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press