Horizontal Initiative: Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement - Health Support component
Lead department: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA)
Federal partner organization: Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)
Non-federal and non-governmental partner(s): Not applicable
Start date: September 2003 (Resolution Health Support Program), July 2004 (Crisis Line)
End date: March 31, 2018 (Resolution Health Support Program), March 31, 2020 (Crisis Line)
Description of the horizontal initiative: CIRNA's Resolution and Individual Affairs Sector supports former students in crisis by funding the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line, a national, 24-hour toll-free support service (1-866-925-4419) operated by trained crisis counselors, including Indigenous counselors. CIRNA is also responsible for coordinating the verification of program eligibility, and ensuring that ISC is aware of dates for Independent Assessment Process hearings and Truth and Reconciliation and Commemoration events as they arise, so that mental health counselling, and cultural and emotional support services can be provided to former students and their families in a seamless fashion.
The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP), a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) ensures that former students of Indian residential schools and their families can safely address a broad spectrum of mental wellness issues related to the impacts of Indian residential schools through all phases of Settlement Agreement. The Resolution Health Support Program provides access to mental health counselling, cultural and emotional support services provided by professional counsellors, Elders, Traditional Healers, and Aboriginal community health workers. Assistance with the cost of transportation to access counseling, Elders, and/or Traditional Healer services is also provided when services are not locally available.
Governance structures: CIRNA is responsible for the overall implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and is working in partnership with ISC to coordinate and provide services for former Indian residential school students and their families throughout all phases of the Settlement Agreement. Please note that First Nations Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) has been transferred to IS as of November 30, 2017.
Total federal funding allocated (start to end date) (dollars):
ISC: $558,963,046 (2003-2004 to 2017-2018)
Total federal planned spending to date (dollars):
ISC: $500,380,523 (2003-2004 to 2016-17)
Total federal actual spending to date (dollars):
ISC: $520,390,916 (2003-2004 to 2016-2017)
Date of last renewal of the horizontal initiative: June 13, 2016
Total federal funding allocated at the last renewal and source of funding (dollars):
CIRNA: No additional funding
ISC: Received a total of $117,165,046 in the last renewal through Budget 2015 broken down as follows:
Additional federal funding received after the last renewal (dollars):
CIRNA: Received funding through the same TB submission in O&M for the Crisis Line
2016-2017: $3.1 million
2017-2018: $3.1 million
ISC: $12.9 million through Supplementary Estimates C in 2017-2018
Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners (dollars): Not applicable
Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation:
CIRNA: CIRNA has fulfilled its evaluation obligations under the Settlement Agreement. As this is not an ongoing grant and contribution program, there is no statutory requirement for further evaluation work, as there are no further legislative, policy, or other requirements to do so.
ISC: The next evaluation of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch Mental Wellness cluster, including the IRS RHSP, is planned for 2020–2021 and will cover the period from April 2015 to March 2020. The evaluation will be undertaken in fulfillment of the requirements of the Financial Administration Act and the Treasury Board of Canada's Policy on Evaluation.
Shared outcome of federal partners: The IRSSA Health Supports component works toward the achievement of two outcomes:
- Eligible former students of Indian residential schools and their families have access to mental health and emotional support services.
- Eligible former students of Indian residential schools can safely address a broad spectrum of mental wellness issues related to the disclosure of childhood abuse.
Expected outcome or result of non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable
Name of theme: Not applicable
Theme Outcome Not applicable
Theme performance indicator(s): Not applicable
Theme target: Not applicable
The horizontal initiative will:
- continue to deliver mental health, cultural and emotional supports to former Indian residential school students and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program;
- provide former Indian residential school students and their families with access to a 24-hour national crisis line;
- disseminate information about the health supports program; and
- strengthen research, knowledge and training initiatives to ensure that health supports are well suited to meet the needs of Indian residential school students, their families and communities.
This horizontal initiative fulfils Canada's legal obligation to provide ongoing mental health and emotional support services to the end of the Settlement Agreement. The key priorities are to ensure that health supports are in place at all appropriate events, including Independent Assessment Process hearings and that access to the 24-hour national crisis line is available. The Crisis Line provides a wide range of services, including suicide intervention. It is demand-driven and provides critical and culturally-appropriate support to individuals from all areas of the country, including many isolated regions where alternate services are very limited. The Crisis Line is advertised in conjunction with all communications directed towards former students regarding Settlement Agreement processes. The service recognizes that engagement in the process may place former students and those around them at significant risk, and the horizontal initiatives serve to mitigate that risk.
|Federal organizations||Link to the department's Program Inventory||Horizontal initiative activities||Total federal allocation
(from start to end date) (dollars)
|2018–2019 Planned spending (dollars)|
|Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs||Residential Schools Resolution||Indian Residential School Crisis Line||$38,900,000||$3,500,000|
|Indigenous Services Canada||Mental Wellness||Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program||$558,963,046
|Total for all federal organizations||$597,863,046||$3,500,000|
|*No planned spending is included in this report due to the expiry of budgetary spending authorities. The Department would have to request funding for this initiative for future years.|
|Date to achieve target|
|Former Indian residential school students and their families have access to a 24-hour, national crisis line operated by trained crisis counselors||Percentage of calls receiving a busy signal in a 24-hour period, and percentage of calls answered within three rings in a 24-hour period (Crisis Line)||Maximum of 5% busy signal on calls received.
95% of calls answered within 120 seconds as per contract
|March 31, 2019|
|2018–2019 Performance indicators||2018–2019 Targets||Date to achieve target|
|Demand-driven health support services will be accessible to former Indian residential school students and their families throughout all phases of the IRSSA.||Number of distinct former Indian Residential School students and their family members who access mental health counselling||3,900 clients accessed mental health counselling||Input to come|
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Senior Program Manager
Settlement Agreement Branch
Resolution and Individual Affairs Sector
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Indigenous Services Canada
Senior Program Manager
Population Health and Primary Care Directorate
First Nations and Inuit Health Branch
Indigenous Services Canada