Video Transcripts

IAP Information Video



If you are experiencing pain or distress as a result of your residential school experiences, please call the toll-free 24-hour crisis line at:


Around the time the last federally run residential school closed, some former students took legal action against the federal government and the churches for their suffering and lingering effects of the residential school system.

Before the Settlement Agreement, some of the earlier methods used to resolve claims for physical and sexual abuse included litigation.

Another more recent method to resolve claims for physical and sexual abuse was the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, implemented by the Government of Canada in 2003.

The ADR process was a voluntary and confidential process designed to be a timely, fair and safe way for residential school survivors to resolve validated physical and sexual abuse claims, including wrongful confinement claims, outside of the litigation process.

It was decided that a more comprehensive settlement than the ADR process was necessary, and formal negotiations were started in 2005 involving:

  • representatives of Indigenous people
  • claimant counsel representing former students
  • the Government of Canada, and
  • the churches that ran the residential schools

In 2006 the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was signed by all parties and approved by nine supervising courts across the country. It was the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history.

The agreement has five main components:

  • The Common Experience Payment
  • Commemoration
  • Healing
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and
  • The Independent Assessment Process, or IAP

The Common Experience Payment, or CEP, acknowledged that the residential school system harmed all students by isolating them from their families and communities, and by taking away their culture and language.

Eligible former students received a lump sum of $10,000, as well as an extra $3,000 for each year they resided at a school.

The Commemoration component of the Settlement Agreement involved honouring, educating, remembering and memorializing former residential school students, their families and their communities.

Community activities often involved reclaiming culture, language and history, and rebuilding family relationships.

The Commemoration component finished in May 2014.

The Healing component of the Settlement Agreement had two main parts:

First, additional funding was provided to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation making it easier for former students to access the Foundation’s healing programs as the Settlement Agreement was being carried out.

Second, the government promised to continue its mental health and emotional support services under the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program that is managed by Health Canada and the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia.

Also, some churches that signed the agreement contributed additional funding for services toward healing initiatives.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or TRC, was established to establish a public record to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools.

Former students were always free to share their stories with the TRC while it was operating.

The TRC held National Events from 2011 to 2015 and published reports focusing on the legacy of residential schools.

The TRC and the Government of Canada established the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, based in Winnipeg.

The Centre houses a collection of materials on the history and impacts of the Residential School system.

Former students have been free to share their stories with the Centre since it opened in 2015.

The last component under the Settlement Agreement is the Independent Assessment Process, or the IAP.

The Independent Assessment Process, or IAP, is one of the reparations components of the Settlement Agreement (the CEP being the other) as Indigenous people in Canada and Canadians pursue reconciliation for the suffering caused by the residential school system.

The IAP is the private process for settling compensation claims for sexual and serious physical abuse and certain other wrongful acts suffered by Indigenous children at eligible residential schools.

The IAP is designed to be independent, fair and neutral. The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat is responsible for administering this non-confrontational adjudication process.

The IAP involves several stages before, during and after the hearing.

Some of the stages in both the ADR and the IAP result in records being made, and are as follows:

During the application stage, the claimant completes and submits an application.

This is what an ADR application looks like,

and this is what an IAP application looks like.

The application belongs to the former student.

Former students have always had the right to ask for a copy of their application.

During the hearing stage, the claimant tells his or her experience to an adjudicator.

Adjudicators make audio recordings of each hearing.

The audio recording is considered to be a record and may be used to make a written record of the hearing.

This written record of the audio recording of the hearing is called the hearing transcript.

An ADR hearing transcript looks like this, and an IAP hearing transcript looks like this.

Former students have always had the right to ask for a copy of the transcript of their hearing, with the names of alleged perpetrators removed, to protect their privacy.

The adjudicator prepares the decision and it is sent to the claimant and/or the claimant’s lawyer.

This is what an ADR decision looks like, and this is what an IAP decision looks like.

Former students have always had the right to request a copy of their hearing decision, with the names of alleged perpetrators removed, to protect their privacy.

Former students have always been free to do with their application, transcript and decision documents as they wish – some have chosen to keep it in their private records, some have chosen to destroy these documents and some have chosen to deposit them with the archive set up by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, or with another historical archive.

You can find out more information about what options you have for your IAP or ADR records by calling toll-free at 1-877-635-2648