We Are All Treaty People

Statement from the Office of the Treaty Commissioner

  • Published - 29/03/2023
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  • Posted By - OTC
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The Office of the Treaty Commissioner attended Federal Court of Appeal hearing on Mar. 29 in Saskatoon’s Kings Bench.

Jessie Waldron, a day-school survivor, is arguing for her right to receive compensation for the most severe level of abuse she suffered. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations was an intervenor in this appeal.

During implementation of the Day School Settlement Agreement, the claims administrator said survivors could not change their level of reported abuse or could not add additional information of more serious abuse.

“The ability of survivors to come forward in designated time frame in a prescribed framework such as the settlement processes that exist is traumatic,” said Treaty Commissioner Mary Culbertson.

“Many are not able to start the painful process of disclosing abuses they may have never spoke of previously. There should be no barriers due to administrative processes and interpretation by one party or another to limit compensation or the acknowledgement of survivors experiences.”

Claim levels range from Level 1: Verbal/Physical Abuse (where claims are worth $10,000) to Level 5: Sexual/Physical Abuse (where claims are worth up to $200,000) depending on what happened to the claimant while they were a student at day school.

Claims at higher levels required supporting documentation. And claimants were encouraged to put forward their full story in order to receive the highest compensation they could receive. Ms. Waldron initially filed a at Level 1, but refiled with the help of a lawyer outlining abuses that entitled her to a higher level of compensation. These additions were not accepted.

For the first five months of the claims process, until June 2020, the Claims Administrator allowed for progressive disclosure. The policy was then changed with two weeks’ notice. Ms. Waldron filed the updated claims after this date, but before their initially claims were adjudicated or payment received.

Ms. Waldron is looking to receive compensation that matches her experience, which she reported, but says the information provided was ignored by the Claims Administrator

The OTC will continue to watch this case and hopes for fair and just outcomes for all claimants.

Read more about the situation and prior court cases here
Efficiency Over Fairness: Interpreting the Day School Settlement