'A lifetime trying to forget': the legacy of residential schools settlement process
WINNIPEG -- A landmark settlement made nearly 15 years ago between the federal government and survivors of Canada's residential schools may have further victimized some survivors, according to a new study.
In 2006, the federal government reached the settlement which addressed the horrors survivors experienced, but for some the settlement brought back traumas from the past.
"We were forced to remember in a short period of time what we spent a lifetime trying to forget," said Eugene Arcand.
Arcand went to two separate residential schools between 1958 and 1969. He said the settlement process forced him to relive experiences he had kept secret from the world.
"I never shared my story, even with my wife, for over 30 years of our marriage," he said.
Experiences like Arcands, as well as the exclusion of survivors and other failings are detailed in 'Lessons Learned', a new report by the National Centre For Truth and Reconciliation.
The report reviews the residential school settlement agreement.
"You took highly traumatized peoples through this litigious process that was hard on them," said Ry Moran, the director of the centre.
Moran said the settlement agreement was massive, and did result in a lot of positive change in terms of rising public awareness and helping Canada move towards reconciliation.
But he said the report also demonstrates the need for survivor focused, indigenous led practices and cultural sensitivity training for similar situations in the future.
"When we design processes we can create further harm if we're not conscious in developing really good processes," said Moran. "Especially ones that are as massive and as complicated and sensitive as this one."
You can read the entire report from the National Centre For Truth and Reconciliation below: