Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs v. Attorney General of Canada

(Manitoba) (Civil) (By Leave)


Contracts - Equity, Remedies, Interpretation - Contracts — Equity — Remedies — Rectification — Interpretation — Residential Schools Settlement Agreement — Whether certain institution should have been included in list of Indian Residential Schools — Whether Aboriginal students who were forced from their homes and communities, and required to live in a residence owned by the United Church in Teulon, Manitoba, and to be educated at the public school, pursuant to a program initiated and financed by the Government of Canada, are entitled to receive a Common Experience Payment under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement entered into between Canada and representatives of the Aboriginal people on May 8, 2006. .


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

The United Church of Canada assumed responsibility for a boys’ residence and a girls’ residence located in Teulon, Manitoba, in 1925. In the 1960s, the Department of Indian Affairs began placing students with status under the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-5, in the Teulon residence to attend Teulon Collegiate, a local public school unaffiliated with the residence or Canada. Between the 1960s and 1980-81, the boarding capacity of the residence was approximately 40 students, including boys and girls, the majority of whom were treaty students. The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement provided individual compensation to former residents of Indian Residential Schools. Under it, an institution is an Indian Residential School if it is included in Schedule E of the Agreement — a closed list of specific institutions — or added to Schedule F, which can be expanded in accordance with Article 12.01 of the Agreement. Schedule E was developed from “List A”. Although List A referred to “Norway House (Teulon)”, Schedule E in the Agreement only refers to “Norway House”. There was no evidence to explain how, when or why the reference to Teulon was removed. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, on behalf of the students who resided in Teulon, brought a request for directions asking whether the Agreement applies to the Teulon residence and whether the Teulon residence should be added to Schedule F.

The motions judge found that the Teulon residence was not an Indian Residential School under the Settlement Agreement, and that they did not qualify to be added to Schedule F under Article 12. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ appeal.