Jun 18/98: Residential school, church, govt. named in suit


Kamloops Daily News
July 18, 1998
Robert Koopmans

[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news article may contain biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. It is provided for reference only.]

The Catholic Church, the federal government and four former employees of the Kamloops Indian Residential School have been named in a lawsuit alleging sexual and physical abuse at the school more than 25 years ago.

Glen Darrell Jack, a member of the Upper Nicola Indian Band, filed a statement of claim in Vancouver. The suit alleges repeated sexual and physical assaults at the hands of three of the employees at the Kamloops Indian Residential School between 1965 and 1972. Jack alleges the fourth defendant knew of the abuse and failed to take appropriate steps to stop it. That person also failed to investigate reports of abuse made by others, the claim states. The employees named in the suit are referred to as John Does 1, 2, 3 and 4, suggesting the plaintiff does not recall the full names of those he believes responsible for the abuse.

According to the court document, Jack was a student at the school from 1965 to 1972. He alleges three of the defendants performed varying sex acts on him, as well as beat and threatened him. The suit seeks damages for pain and suffering, loss of opportunities, past and future wage loss and loss of enjoyment of life.

The statement of claim indicates all the defendants have "denied or failed to acknowledge their misconduct towards the plaintiff." They have also shown no remorse and continue to refuse compensation or treatment to aid in Jack's recovery, it says. "The conduct of the defendants remains disgraceful, repugnant and reprehensible... They acted and continue to act in an arrogant and high-handed fashion towards him," the statement of claim reads.

As well, the suit seeks damages because the government removed Jack from his community, home and family, depriving him of family love, guidance, and the knowledge of his native language, culture, customs and traditions.

Rose Bender, the Vancouver lawyer acting on behalf of Jack, could not be reached for comment. Bishop Lawrence Sabbatini, head of the Kamloops diocese, refused comment.

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