Abstract

Survivors of Indian Residential Schools in Canada are involved in one of the largest compensation processes in the world. A significant component in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) is the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), an out-of-court process aimed at resolving claims related to serious physical and sexual abuse suffered at residential schools. This article discusses a community–university research collaboration, which set out to explore how women involved in the IAP, including Survivors, support workers, lawyers, and adjudicators, understood the capacity of the model to facilitate healing. The results suggest attention to several aspects of policy development including representations of the body and sexuality, impacts of child abuse and trauma, and colonial histories of power and control, in addition to healing and training strategies.

Acknowledgments

The participation of the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women's Circle Corporation and Judy Hughes, Elders, Survivors, Joanne Farmer, and the study participants are gratefully acknowledged.

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Disclaimer

TRIGGER WARNING: This article describes cases of physical and sexual abuse that some readers may find distressing.