AFN Bulletin – IRSSA Personal Credits for Education – August 2015
AFN Bulletin – IRSSA Personal Credits for Education – August 2
The Assembly of First Nations issues regular updates on work underway at the national office.
More information can be found at www.afn.ca.
Personal Education Credits – Surplus Transfer
The application process for the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) Personal Education Credit is coming to a close and will be complete by August 31, 2015. As of June 1, 2015 approximately 30,712 applications (acknowledgement forms) had been submitted to Crawford Class Action Services which is administering the process on behalf of the Government of Canada. As of August 15, 2015 Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada indicates that approximately 23,404 redemption forms had been received and approximately 13,127 personal credits had been paid out to former students of Indian Residential Schools.
A surplus in funds has been identified and over the next few months these remaining funds will be transferred to the Inuvialuit Education Foundation and the National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund (NIB Trust) to be administered in support of ongoing reconciliation efforts as identified in IRSSA. Timelines for the transfers to the NIB Trust Fund are as follows: 25 per cent of net balance on August 10, 2015; 25 per cent of net balance on August 31, 2015; any remaining funds on November 30, 2015.
Terms and Conditions approved by the BC Supreme Court on July 27, 2015 describe how the funds will be used and when. The IRSSA directs that any surplus allocated to the NIB Trust must be used to support ongoing reconciliation efforts and recognizes education initiatives and programming as playing a significant role. Details are still being finalized for the administration of funds by the NIB Trust, but it is likely there will be a request for proposals for individual or community-based programming.
The AFN will assist the NIB Trust in sharing further information and details on accessing funds. In its July 27, 2015 order, the Supreme Court of British Columbia barred any future applications for Common Experience Payment, Personal Credits or requests to add schools to the IRSSA and any other applications that may create a charge to the designated amount fund originally set aside for compensation.
Throughout the application process for personal education credits, AFN’s sole interest has been to ensure survivors and their families could access and use the funds. This included having liaison coordinators visit every region to help survivors fill out applications and answer questions about the process. The AFN hosted information sessions and presentations across the country and created web pages and an instructional video series. The AFN pressed for a deadline extension in response to the serious administrative concerns expressed by survivors and family members across the country and continues to push for existing administrative concerns to be addressed.
Personal Education Credits is the final phase of compensation to Indian residential school survivors as set out in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) of 2007. It provides a one-time value of up to $3,000 to former residential school students who have received the Common Experience Payment to be used for personal or group education programs and services provided by approved educational entities and groups. The process to access personal education credits was announced in January 2014 and is being administered by Crawford Class Action Services. The role of the AFN Personal Education Credit Liaisons will end as of August 31, 2015.
For direct information please visit http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/personal-credits or contact Crawford Class Action Services at 1-866-343-1858 or at www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca.