Revitalizing wellness: Fostering healing in BC’s Residential School abuse survivors

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Survivors of childhood institutional abuse can face a lifetime of physical and mental health challenges. To address the on-going health challenges of claimants during the claims process, the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement created the Resolution Health Support Program. This study identifies gaps in existing services, and provides policy recommendations for future services after the duties of the Settlement Agreement are fulfilled. Expert interviews and three case studies highlight policy options, and the key issues impacting the wellness of claimants in the Settlement Agreement. Three policy options are assessed using eight criteria based on the objectives of efficacy, equity, and stakeholder acceptability. The creation of a Wellness Fund and funding for survivor cultural revitalization are the recommended options for addressing the immediate and long-term needs of Survivors in BC. Throughout policy implementation, it is important to consider the context of other colonial policies, the diversity of responses to the wellness needs, and to target the intergenerational effects of the IRS system.
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