The Anglican Church of Canada’s Indian residential schools settlement fund, with a goal of $25 million, has collected $15.9 million as of the second quarter of 2005, according to General Synod’s financial office in Toronto.
The church’s 30 dioceses and General Synod, the national office, began in 2003 to contribute to the fund. It pays damages to claimants who are able to prove they suffered sexual or physical abuse at Anglican-run schools that were part of a nationwide system of boarding schools for native children. The Anglican church ran 26 of the 80 schools that were in the system. As of mid-year, a total of $5.6 million had been paid to claimants.
In March, 2003, the church reached an agreement with the federal government that limited the church’s liability to $25 million in lawsuits concerning the schools. The accord averted bankruptcy for the national church and several dioceses, although the diocese of Cariboo in central British Columbia closed its main office in 2001 under financial pressure from lawsuits.
The fund, called the Anglican Church of Canada Resolution Corp., is paying 30 per cent of settlements, with the federal government paying 70 per cent. General Synod has paid $3 million into the fund. Dioceses agreed to contribute funds over five years in proportion to their regular annual gift to General Synod.