November 24, 2005

$2b residential school deal a start, Knockwood says

The Chronicle Herald

By JENNIFER STEWART Staff Reporter and The Canadian Press

It is difficult to put a dollar amount on the abuse and cultural genocide thousands of native children suffered at residential schools across Canada, survivor Noel Knockwood said Wednesday in Dartmouth.

The 73-year-old is a former student at the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia. He said the more than $2 billion in payments and healing programs the federal government is proposing for survivors isnít enough, but itís a start.

"Itís pretty difficult to measure a cultural loss and it is rather hard to put a dollar figure on any kind of an issue such as that," Mr. Knockwood said. "Regardless, itís a start and it might be the beginning of something a little bit better."

The settlement, announced in Ottawa on Wednesday, has yet to be approved in court, but if it is, the survivors of rapes, beatings and cultural isolation would likely be paid by the end of next year. Most survivors now average 60 years old and many are sick or dying.

Posted by kshaw at November 24, 2005 09:25 AM