The Indian residential schools settlement fund is more than one-third of the way toward its target of $25 million. As of March 31, 2004, the fund had collected a total of $10.1 million from the church’s 30 dioceses and the national office, according to treasurer Jim Cullen.
One year ago, the Anglican Church of Canada signed an agreement with the federal government, limiting the church’s liability to $25 million in lawsuits concerning a now-defunct boarding school system for native children.
The fund is paying 30 per cent of settlements (with the federal government paying 70 per cent) awarded plaintiffs proving sexual or physical abuse in Anglican-run schools. As of March 31, $2.6 million had been paid in settlements to successful plaintiffs. Of the 80 Indian residential schools that existed for more than a century into the 1970s, the Anglican church operated 26.
General Synod has paid $3 million – its full share of the $25 million – into the fund. Dioceses agreed to contribute funds over five years in proportion to their regular annual gift to General Synod, the church’s national office.
Six dioceses – Edmonton, Quebec, Moosonee, Athabasca, Calgary and Yukon – have paid their five-year commitments in full. Parishes in the former diocese of Cariboo, now called the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, contributed $10,000.