Many residential school survivors, the TRC, and the federal government have been involved in complex litigation over student records. At issue is the control and destruction of the records, which because they were used as part of the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), served as testimony of the abuse suffered by the students and the conditions they lived in. The case has seen appeals and cross-appeals by churches, the federal government, the TRC, the IAP, and survivors, at odds over the storage and destruction of the records.
In May 2016, after the Ontario Court of Appeal's split decision, the federal government applied for leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada to determine whether the records can be considered "government documents" and therefore archived with them. In October 2017 in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the Ontario Court of Appeal's ruling that the records should be destroyed after 15 years, though individuals could agree to have their records archived at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
For more decisions, please see here.
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