Our online-only booklet A Guide to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement is now available as an eBook! You can download it to any eBook reader, including Kobo, Kindle, or even your smart phone or iPad or tablet. For advocates, LIOWs, and ACLWs, this means that you no longer need an Internet connection in order to access this publication, and you no longer need to remember to bring printouts to share this information with your clients. Cross-references are linked, making it easy to navigate and get right to the information your client needs. Still not sure about eBooks? Check out Lifehack’s Ten Advantages of E-book Readers.
A Guide to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement provides easy-to-understand information on the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The booklet explains to survivors what their options are under the agreement, including what their options are now that the deadlines to apply to the Common Experience Payment and Independent Assessment Process have passed. It also includes information on the Personal Credits that are available to survivors who received a Common Experience Payment. It has a comprehensive section on where to get legal help and emotional support.
The Aboriginal Child Protection Wallet Card has been reprinted and is now available for order. This wallet card lets Aboriginal parents know about their right to get legal advice if they’re being investigated for a child protection matter. It provides the Legal Aid phone number, and encourages parents to call as soon as possible to find out if they qualify for a free lawyer.
Atira Women’s Resource Society has released a new publication, Your Rights on Reserve: A Legal Tool-Kit for Aboriginal Women in BC (PDF). The goal of Atira Women’s Resource Society is to end violence against women. They provide direct services to women in need and raise awareness on the issue.
Your Rights on Reserve is a legal toolkit for Aboriginal women, which explains their rights in plain language. This publication covers a range of topics, including:
- family law,
- relationship violence,
- band membership, and more.
This publication is available online and in print.
Indian residential school survivors who got a Common Experience Payment are also eligible for Personal Credits. Personal Credits are available for educational purposes, and cover up to $3,000. Family members of eligible people can also use these credits.
To use your Personal Credits, you must submit your Personal Credits Acknowledgement Form. This form was sent in the mail to anyone who got a Common Experience Payment. The deadline to submit your Personal Credits Acknowledgement Form is October 31, 2014.
Once your Personal Credits Acknowledgement Form has been processed, you will get a Personal Credits Redemption Form. This form must be post marked no later than December 1, 2014.
To request a form, or for help with filling out your forms, call 1-866-343-1858. If you’re hard of hearing, call 1-877-627-7027 (TTY).
For more information, see the Indian Residential Schools Settlement — Official Court Website.
A number of changes to the law in recent years mean that print copies of our publication Aboriginal People and the Law in BC are out of date. Several of the chapters in the print copy are no longer accurate. The PDF available online has been updated to reflect these legal changes.
While there is no new printing of this publication on the horizon, you can update your print copies by removing the following chapters and replacing them with the alternate publications listed below:
- Chapter 4 (Family law) — see instead the Family Law website and its Aboriginal section
- Chapter 5 (Harvesting rights) — see instead A Guide to Aboriginal Harvesting Rights
- Chapter 14 (Residential school abuse) — see instead A Guide to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement
- Chapter 18 (Wills and Estates) — see instead A Guide to Wills and Estates on Reserve
We’ve updated our Indian Residential Schools Settlement fact sheet. This fact sheet is for Indian residential schools survivors who want to know what their options are under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The fact sheet has information on:
- who’s covered by the settlement agreement,
- how they can take action against the Government of Canada for abuse they experienced at an eligible residential school, and
- the Common Experience Payment and the Independent Assessment Process, including what to do now that the application deadlines have passed.
The fact sheet also lets survivors know:
- who can help them with their settlement agreement claim,
- where to get emotional and other support, and
- how to get legal help.
We’ve updated our Are you Aboriginal? fact sheet. This fact sheet is for Aboriginal people who have been charged with a crime. It includes information on Gladue rights — special rights under the Criminal Code that encourage judges to take a restorative justice approach. This means that, when setting bail or sentencing, the judge must keep in mind the special circumstances that Aboriginal offenders face, and consider all options other than jail. Gladue rights apply to all Aboriginal people: status and non-status Indians, Inuit, Métis, and anyone who self-identifies as Aboriginal.
The fact sheet also includes information on the First Nations Courts in Duncan, Kamloops, and New Westminster. It includes contact information for the First Nations Court duty counsel, and information on how to apply to have your matter transferred to First Nations Court.
The Justice Institute of BC will once again provide Gladue report writer training starting January 7, 2014, and they’re looking for course participants!
Gladue rights apply to all Aboriginal people and are a way that judges can try to make sure that Aboriginal people are treated fairly. When applying Gladue rights during sentencing or when setting bail, a judge must consider:
- all options other than jail, and
- a community sentence that will help address the underlying issues that led to the legal trouble.
To do this, the judge needs a Gladue report. These reports outline the accused’s personal history, as well as what type of services are available to help that person address the issues that led them into legal trouble.
This course is designed to teach people who work within Aboriginal communities and the justice system to meet the requirements necessary to write Gladue reports for the court. People who successfully complete this course will have met one of the key requirements for being added to the LSS list of qualified Gladue report writers. For more information about these requirements, see the Gladue report disbursement pilot page on the LSS website.