Indian Residential School
(formerly the Provincial Residential School Project)
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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What is the Society?
BC Residential Schools
Making a Disclosure
If You Feel a Memory Coming
Criminal Prosecution Process
Role of the RCMP
Role of the Crown Counsel