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NEWS RELEASE

Wednesday December 13, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LEGAL BATTLES CONTINUE FOR ST ANNES


RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVORS
TORONTO, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty
Achneepineskum is appalled by the Government of Canadas legal tactics that are re-
victimizing survivors of the notorious St. Annes Indian Residential School and denying them
justice.

The federal governments position against St. Annes Survivors is a shameful injustice that
is at odds with the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and this
governments commitment to reconciliation, said Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty
Achneepineskum, who is attending todays hearing in the Ontario Superior Court. It is
unconscionable that unscrupulous legal tactics are forcing these victims to be re-
traumatized. If the governments actions matched their words, they would support survivors
of the Residential School experience instead of bullying them into silence.

St. Annes Residential School Survivors Angela Shisheesh and an unnamed claimant
(Claimant C-14114) are in court today challenging the Government of Canada for violating
their legal rights under the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.

Both Shisheesh and Claimant C-14114 have come forward as witnesses on behalf of other
survivors of St. Annes, but the testimonies previously provided by Shisheesh and 18,000
other survivors has yet to be seen as evidence by the government. The government has taken
the position that all witnesses, including Shisheesh, must re-testify. It is also the argument of
the government that Shisheesh does not have standing to come forth in Court.

Shisheesh will ask the Court to mandate the government to accept her testimony as true
moving forward. She will also ask the Court to determine if she can file transcript of
examinations with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, as federal lawyers claim
she must have permission from the Government of Canada and the Catholic Church in order
to submit her statements.

If the Court says that we dont have standing to speak for ourselves, it takes away our
individual rights, said St. Annes survivor Edmund Metatawabin. It highlights the
unfortunate piece of policy that states because we have a band and reserve number, that we
are prisoners of Canada.
Metatawabin and St. Annes survivors have proved (January 14, 2014) that the government
filed false reports about child abuse at St. Annes. More than 12,000 documents had been in
possession of the federal Department of Justice from St. Annes survivors about their sexual
and serve abuse, but this information was supressed by the federal government for the
Independent Assessment (IAP) process.

The courts have heard the horrible abuse of children at St. Annes, including a homemade
electric chair for punishment and children being forced to eat their own vomit. The Ontario
Provincial Police conducted interviews with more than 700 survivors in the 1990s, which
led to five former employees from St. Annes being convicted.

St. Annes survivors pursued their legal rights under the Indian Residential School
Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), but police records were withheld by the federal government.

Before the IRSSA was reached in 2006, Department of Justice lawyers and lawyers for the
Catholic Church had the evidence of 1,000 former students of St. Annes. After the IRSSA,
survivors were to have this information disclosed to their IAP adjudicator.

Survivors rely on these historical files to prove that they attended the school and support
their claims of abuse. But despite being ordered to release documents to survivors, the
Department of Justice continues to withhold them.

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications (807) 625-4965 or
cell (807) 621-2790 or by email mheintzman@nan.on.ca