The Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether painful, personal accounts from the survivors of residential schools should be destroyed or permanently archived for posterity.
The survivors’ stories were used by the independent assessment process, which handled compensation claims under the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
A lower court judge ruled that the material should be destroyed after 15 years, although individuals could consent to have their stories preserved at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg.
In a 2-1 ruling last April, the Ontario Court of Appeal agreed, saying the documents are not government records subject to archiving laws and that their disposition should be at the sole discretion of the survivors.
The federal government is appealing, saying it controls the documents and that they are subject to privacy, access to information and archiving legislation.
As usual, the court gave no reasons for agreeing to hear the case.