But few declined, meaning an aboriginal who was forced to be away from his or her family while attending a residential school will get an average $27,000.
The minimum payment is $10,000, plus $3,000 for each year he or she spent in a residential school.
The federal government forced generations of native children to attend residential schools run by six Christian denominations. Stories of dislocation as well as physical and sexual abuse are typical of their experiences. The policy continued up to the 1960s.