Residential School Agreement FAQs. Click on the image Above to download the PDF
Residential School Agreement FAQs. Click on the image Above to download the PDF

Staff at Grant Huberman are inspired by the courage and dignity displayed by clients, who suffered unimaginable abuse while at Residential School. Counsel is honoured to assist them in their healing and their quest for justice.

Peter Grant advocates a high standard of practice in working with residential school survivors. It is critical that victims of childhood abuse be acknowledged as being in control of their cases. Prospective clients meet face to face with the lawyer they will have before deciding if they want the firm to represent them.

Most importantly, Grant Huberman recognizes that a financial settlement or award plays only a small part in the survivors’ efforts to take control. The firm actively supports the need for ongoing healing and planning for healing  after the case is over.

The legal team became involved with Residential School claims in 1995 after being approached by a St. George’s Residential School survivor. At the time, there had been no court case in Canada for damages arising from Residential School abuse. In Mowatt v. Clarke and Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada, counsel succeeded in obtaining a precedent setting judgement in the British Columbia Supreme Court as Justice Dillon found that the Anglican Church of Canada was negligent and both the Anglican Church and Canada were liable for the sexual assaults perpetrated on Mr. Mowatt.

The firm represented twenty-one survivors from the Port Alberni Indian Residential School (Blackwater v. Plint), and the cases of a further eight survivors from St. George’s Indian Residential School (T.W.N.A. v. Clark).  After years of difficult litigation, counsel obtained precedent setting judgements in both Blackwater and T.W.N.A.  In T.W.N.A., the Court awarded punitive damages against both Canada and the Church.

The firm has been fully involved in negotiating settlements in scores of other Residential School cases and obtained numerous successful settlements under the Federal government’s ADR process.

In 2005 and 2006, the firm worked with the AFN, approximately 20 law firms  from across Canada, the Federal government and a variety of church entities to negotiate an Agreement in Principle on a National Settlement to resolve the majority of outstanding Residential School cases for the benefit of Residential School survivors. All the Parties approved the final version of the National Settlement on May 23, 2006.

Grant Huberman continues to work towards final court approval of the National Settlement in nine jurisdictions across Canada.  The firm continues to pursue ongoing litigation and ADR hearings involving many Residential School survivors.

Cases

F.S.M. v. Clarke HMTQ and the Anglican Church of Canada
[1999] B.C.J. No. 1973
Link to Case here

Blackwater v. Plint,
[2005] 3 S.C.R. 3, 2003 BCCA 671, 2001 BCSC 997
Link to Case here

T.W.N.A. v. Clark
2003 BCCA 670, 2001 BCSC 1177
Link to Case here

Links

Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

Publications
  • The Depth of the Ocean:  General and Aggravated Damages for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools (Paper presented at 3rd Annual National Summit on Institutional Liability for Sexual Assault and Abuse, Toronto, Ontario, February 21 and 22, 2002
  • Residential Schools Resolution:  The Plaintiffs’ Perspective on Litigation (Paper presented at the Canadian Bar Association conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 29 and 29, 2000)
  • Prosecuting Residential School Claims (Paper presented at the mid-winter Canadian Ban Association conference, Saskatchewan, 1999)
  • Residential School Update: Blackwater v Plint (Aboriginal Writes, July 1998, p. 4)