April 27, 2006

80,000 Native Canadians to Be Compensated for School Abuse

CANADA
The New York Times

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS
Published: April 27, 2006
TORONTO, April 26 In a long delayed conclusion to a dark chapter of Canadian history, negotiators have reached an agreement to compensate 80,000 Native Canadians who attended a government-financed school system where many suffered physical and sexual abuse.

The widespread incidence of alcoholism, family violence and incest in many Native Canadian communities has long been linked to the experiences of generations who attended the so-called residential schools, which were dedicated to forced assimilation and operated for more than a century, until the 1980's.

Typically, government agents forced Inuit, Cree and other children to leave their parents and attend the schools, where they were harshly punished for speaking their own languages or practicing their religions.

Negotiators representing the government, native peoples and several churches that administered the schools agreed that nearly $2 billion would be paid out in damages. Payments are set to begin next year, but will possibly be accelerated for the elderly and the sick.

Posted by kshaw at April 27, 2006 03:21 PM