NTI explains its residential school lawsuit


Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is taking the Government of Canada to court to try to obtain compensation for all Nunavut beneficiaries who attended residential school.

The Government of Canada signed a political accord with the Assembly of First Nations on May 30, 2005 to resolve the First Nations residential school legacy.

NTI is taking legal action to make sure Nunavut beneficiaries receive the same compensation First Nations people may receive for loss of culture, language, and family environment, and for any abuse that may have been experienced during the years of attendance at residential school.

If you attended residential school, it is very important that you contact NTI to obtain a copy of the form we need former students to fill out. NTI requires this information because we are negotiating with the Government of Canada to ensure fair treatment for Inuit who attended residential schools.

We need this information so we can determine the number of Nunavut beneficiaries who attended residential schools. We also need to make sure we have an accurate list of all the residential schools that Nunavut beneficiaries attended. This form is different from other forms that may already have been filled out.

The information provided in this form will be kept strictly confidential. When the form is filled out, please place it in the envelope we have provided and return it to your Community Liaison Officer or send it directly to NTI.

Any compensation that is received will not go to NTI. Because the legal action we started represents all Nunavut beneficiaries who attended residential schools, there is no need to sign any agreement with a lawyer at this time. If former students are approached by a lawyer to sign a document, we suggest that the students first contact NTI for advice and additional information.

As part of this process, NTI will seek to recover any legal costs from the Government of Canada.

Remembering things that happened at residential school may bring back painful memories for some people. NTI very clearly understands that dealing with residential school issues can be a traumatic experience. This is why we have made sure former residential school students have a number of different people to approach for counseling to talk about these experiences.

If former students wish to talk to someone in the community, contact the local health centre, or the local social worker to talk to trained professionals.

Help is also available from the Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Helpline. The Helpline answers calls every night of the year from 7-12 p.m. (EST). Former students can call the Helpline at (867) 979-3333 or toll free at 1-800-265-3333.

Former students can also call trained counselors at the National Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

Vous avez le droit à l'égalité de traitement, Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal

NTI is doing everything we can to make sure we provide the necessary services to former residential school students who may need help.

Because the Government of Canada’s negotiating process is expected to end by March 2006, NTI needs these forms filled out right away. Please call Margaret Kusugak for assistance at NTI in Iqaluit at 1-888-646-0006.

Paul Kaludjak
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

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