Residential School Survivors to Receive Largest Abuse Settlement in U.S. History

by John McKiggan

A Jesuit Order that established and ran Residential schools for mostly aboriginal children in the North West United States and Alaska has agreed to one of the largest abuse compensation settlements in United States history.

The $166 million settlement also requires the Society of Jesus, to offer written apologies to up to 500 abuse survivors. The Society is also required to turn over records of approximately 140 priests, nuns, brothers and lay workers accused of abuse from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Largest Catholic Abuse Settlement
The settlement is reportedly the largest abuse compansation settlement by a Catholic order since the world-wide priest abuse crisis began.

The proposed settlement is in addition to previous payments of $50 million in 2007 and $4.8 million in 2008 to other victims of sexual ause in the Jesuit run schools. The Order filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2009 in the face of hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits.

Hopefully the settlement will provide accountability and some closure to hundreds of children who were abused in the schools.

Largest Abuse Settlement in the World

While the numbers of victims and the amounts of money involved are staggering, they pale in comparison to Canada’s national class action settlement for Indian residential school survivors.

The $5 Billion settlement is still the largest historical redress settlement in the world.

Nora Bernard’s Courage
I was honoured to have represented Nora Bernard who played a key role in bringing justice to up to 70,000 former residential school students. You can read more about Nora here.

Today’s news about the American Residential School settlement reminded me of the first article I posted when I started writing this blog almost four years ago.

Indian Residential Schools: A Brief History of the Largest Abuse Claim Settlement Ever

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