OTTAWA, ON  Former residential school students may get an extension for filing applications for personal credits for education. The first deadline was midnight October 31, 2014 but the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) hopes that will change.

“In response to some of the administrative challenges and time constraints expressed by former students, the AFN has been pushing for an extension to the deadline for applications for personal credits for education, and it is our hope that all parties will agree to this extension,” said AFN National Chief Ghislain Picard in a press release on Friday, October 31.

The Government of Canada expressed a willingness to extend the current deadlines for the personal credits application process, the release noted.

The decision to extend deadlines is not yet finalized as it requires agreement by all parties to the IRSSA as well as a court order.  More information is expected early November.

AFN Liaison Coordinators have been in every region since February offering assistance to former students interested in learning more about the program and looking for assistance with applications.

They will continue to offer this support.

“We think it’s important for all common experience payment recipients to have the choice to apply for funding through this program. It is our hope that the extension becomes final and that former students have adequate time to submit their applications.  This is just another step toward healing and reconciliation in this country, and we continue to encourage Chiefs and former students to outline their concerns related to personal credits to assist advocacy efforts,” said AFN Regional Chief for NWT Bill Erasmus in the release. Erasmus is the national executive member who leads work in this area.

Other resources, links and instructional videos will continue to be available at www.afn.ca or directly at  http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/personal-credits.

The personal credits are being administered by Crawford Class Action Services.  This is the final phase of compensation as outlined in the IRSSA.

For more information on the personal credits program, applications and timelines please contact Crawford Class Action Services at at 1-866-343-1858 or at www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca.

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