Coast Salish Traditional Territory/Vancouver, BC – The BC First Nations Leadership Council commends the public announcement made yesterday by Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Jim Prentice that the federal government has given final approval to the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and confirmed an early payment of $8,000 for residential school survivors who were 65 or older as of May 30, 2005.

The settlement announced in the House of Commons marks an historic and impressive day for First Nations in the journey towards reconciliation and healing for First Nations’ families and communities as well as in our relationship with Canada. There has been incredible determination and resolve demonstrated by National Chief Phil Fontaine and also by the federal negotiator, Honorable Frank Iacobucci, to reach a fair and just resolution. The Settlement Agreement must now be approved by the courts in nine jurisdictions at which point, survivors will have a mandatory six-month period to review the agreement details.

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