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cheap louis vuitton bags uk Anne’s survivors seek release of evidence in court
Survivors of St. Anne’s Indian Residential School hope the Ontario Superior Court will allow the release of police documents that support their claims of abuse suffered while attending the school.
A group of survivors, along with leaders and supporters, attended the first day of a two day court proceeding on Dec. 17 to have their case be heard.
The survivors have been trying to access the documents so they may be used in their Independent Assessment Process (IAP) compensation claim as part of the Indian Residential School settlement.
However, the survivors say the federal government has been withholding the evidence.
The presiding judge told those in attendance that “the purpose of this hearing is not getting those stories out” but to decide what documents go to the residential school settlement process.
The documents in question are from an Ontario Provincial Police investigation conducted in the 1990s that led to the convictions of several of the school’s administrators.
The documents contain more than 900 witness testimonies and are more than 7,000 pages in length.
Among the survivors’ claims while attending St. Anne’s are being beaten with strops and rudimentary whips, being forced to ingest their own vomit,
and experiencing child rape and other forms of sexual abuse.
Edmund Metatawabin of Fort Albany First Nation previously told Wawatay News that he first attended St. Anne’s in 1956, when he was about six years old.
He recounted how he and others would be strapped to a homemade electric chair and be electrocuted much to the amusement of the Catholic missionaries.
“Your feet is flying around in front of you, and that was funny for the missionaries,” Metatawabin said at the time. “So all you hear is that jolt of electricity and your reaction, and laughter at the same time. We all took turns sitting on it.”
Prior to attending the court hearing in Toronto, Metatawabin told reporters that the federal government sees itself as defendants.
“”And when you begin to defend yourself,
you begin to hide things. That’s exactly what the government is doing. They’re hiding evidence,” he said.
By withholding the documents, NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins James Bay) said the federal government is “betraying the spirit of the residential apology.”
“The federal government has compromised the legal rights of the survivors and poisoned the reconciliation process,” he said in a Dec. 17 release. “It is time for the Conservatives to do the right thing and settle the compensation for St. Anne’s school survivors.”
Since 2007, as part of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, residential school survivors have been able to seek compensation against the government through a Common Experience Payment and the IAP. The deadline for each process was in September 2012.