Turtle Island Native Network

Indian Residential School

(formerly the Provincial Residential School Project)

Click to Connect with the Indian Residential School SURVIVORS Society

The Criminal Prosecution Process


The RCMP launched a province-wide investigation in 1995 into complaints of physical and sexual abuse committed while residential schools were in operation in this province. This province-wide investigation is on-going.

In conjunction with that initiative, federal and provincial ministries and agencies, and aboriginal people in this province, formed a Residential Schools Protocol Committee to address the needs of victims. The Committee's guiding protocol is to support victims of residential schools throughout the process of disclosure, preparation for court proceedings, and afterward.

Goals of the Protocol Committee:

  • to ensure that interventions best meet the needs of victims, aboriginal people, and the public
  • to support victims in making an informed choice as to whether to proceed through prosecution or through traditional healing or both
  • to ensure that support service providers are trained in methods of counselling that preserve the option of court proceedings
  • to encourage and support aboriginal people by providing victim support that is consistent with traditional values and customs

Who sits on the Protocol Committee?

  • provincial Ministries of Health, Aboriginal Affairs and the Attorney General
  • federal agencies such as Health Canada-Medical Services Branch, RCMP and the Department of Indian Affairs
  • aboriginal organizations like the First Nations Summit and United Native Nations

There have already been 6 prosecutions in cases of abuse by school staff and clergy. Investigations continue to be initiated as complainants (victims who make a disclosure) come forward and report allegations of abuse. Reports from the police are forwarded to Crown Counsel (lawyer who represents the victim and the state) for review and charge approval decisions.

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      More Information

What is the Society?  

BC Residential Schools

Common Thoughts

Making a Disclosure

If You Feel a Memory Coming

Criminal Prosecution Process

Role of the RCMP

Role of the Crown Counsel

Civil Process

Healing Principles