A Saskatoon man hopes to travel east and petition the Liberal government for compensation over an injury he sustained at a residential school in northern Alberta in the 1960’s.
Lloyd Courtoreille, 67, received roughly $100,000 in compensation for sexual abuses that occurred to him at the school, however he said he was denied a second claim that centered on an accident that resulted in his left leg being amputated.
Courtoreille said he was 10-years-old when he jumped on the back of a tractor being driven by a priest at the school. He said he was eventually elbowed off by another student and got run over by the structure that the tractor was pulling.
“Here I am getting run over, tumbling, tumbling, legs twisting and twisting and finally I heard one snap,” Courtoreille said in a recent interview.
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron is supporting Courtoreille’s quest for further atonement and touched on the man’s plight in a recent interview.
“This man needs to be compensated,” Cameron said.
“The question the government and anybody else in the residential school system need to understand is what’s it worth to lose a leg?”
However, Courtoreille is fighting an uphill battle, given the rules surrounding the Independent Assessment Process (IAP). The program establishes how much compensation is given to former students who can prove specific abuses occurred at the residential school they attended.
Daniel Ish, a former IAP chief adjudicator, said the process was put in place to primarily compensate survivors for intentional assaults. He wasn’t able to comment on Courtoreille’s case specifically, but did explain that former students aren’t guaranteed compensation if their injuries stem from an accident.
“In this process as well as in general law, intention can be found when somebody’s conduct towards somebody else is reckless,” Ish said.
“Was it intentional or was it not? And if it wasn’t fully intentional, was it reckless enough to sort of fall into that category.”
The IAP bases compensation on a sliding scale that provides a financial payout only for a survivor’s most severe category of abuse suffered. In Courtoreille’s case, the sexual abuse he was compensated for would have ranked as more severe than his leg injury.
Ish explained that the IAP was designed to have higher ranked categories of abuse subsume lower categories, “but in way that was not prejudicial to the claimant because the potential compensation grew exponentially.”
Ish also noted that the chief adjudicator does not have the authority to accept a second claim from a former student, once the first has been completed.
Despite this, Courtoreille believes further compensation is appropriate in his case and is willing to take action. He wants to travel to Ottawa, in an effort to bring awareness to his situation and any other survivors who may be in a similar predicament.
“If I have to sit there for a whole year, I don’t care, I am a survivor.”