#Canada; #FirstNations; #NCTR; OntarioSuperiorCourt; #ResidentialSchools; #IRSSA
Ottawa, May 22 (Canadian-Media): An appeal was made by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) to a January ruling of Ontario Superior Court's agreeing with Ottawa to prevent the creation of detailed reports drawn from a database held by the body that oversaw residential school compensation claims, media reports said.
NCTR was created in 2015 to preserve the memory of Canada’s Residential School system and legacy and is the archival repository for all of the material collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
An estimated about 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend residential schools across Canada and suffered abuse at the schools.
The federal government was the only party in the court case that opposed the creation of the detailed reports.
The Assembly of First Nations, along with NCTR, the secretariat and the National Administration Committee (NAC) - that oversees the implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), was also involved in the court case.
The secretariat's proposal of creation of detailed reports for the centre based on information extracted from its database containing nearly two decades of information since the compensation process began in 2007 under the IRSSA would facilitate the number and kinds of claims as well as profiles of survivors who filed claims according to court records.
Ottawa argued that this would be a breach of privacy of residential school claimants, protected by a 2017 Supreme Court ruling that forbade the archiving of individual claim information held by the secretariat.
Ontario Justice Paul Perell had also said in his January 20 ruling that the information would do nothing to help Canadians understand the history of residential schools or help advance reconciliation.
The court also blocked the transfer of a number of other compensation claim-related records held by the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat directly to the centre.
Ottawa said that these records were the property of the federal government and should be transferred to the Crown-Indigenous Relations department which would then hand them over to Library and Archives Canada.
Although the court had ordered Ottawa to file a plan on how it would handle the records and transmit copies of some files to the centre by June 30, the process was delayed due to the restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic and Canada had to ask for an extension.