Manitoba Families of Missing, Murdered Say Hearings Must Go Ahead

An open letter signed by officials with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Coalition says the hearings have been long in coming and families are anxious. (Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press)

Staff | The Canadian Press – April 25, 2017

A coalition that represents Manitoba family members says national hearings into missing and murdered indigenous women must begin soon despite the uncertainty surrounding the process.

An open letter signed by officials with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Coalition says the hearings, slated to begin at the end of May, have been long in coming and families are anxious.

“Indigenous families, women and girls cannot afford a ‘pause’ in your process. We have heard directly from families of (missing and murdered indigenous women) they are quickly losing hope that your inquiry will actually be relevant to them,” states the letter, dated last Wednesday.

“We call on you to, at a minimum, announce in the near future when you, as commissioners, will finally go out and listen to our people.”

Inquiry officials announced April 13 that they were postponing a series of regional advisory meetings, which were supposed to help determine what issues should be covered when the formal hearings get underway.

Since then, the Manitoba coalition said there has been no communication. The group is also worried many family members may have a hard time being included in the hearings.

“You have not yet initiated meetings with Manitoba survivors of violence or who were missing, families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, as well as First Nations and communities that are part of your mandate,” the letter states.

A spokesperson for the inquiry commission said Monday the advisory hearings were put on pause to look at possible changes for the inquiry hearings, and the May start date is still a go.

“The message we received is that we must be flexible and be prepared to change course if need be. This time is an opportunity for us to reflect on our approach for future truth-finding gatherings,” Tiar Wilson wrote in an email.

The uncertainty over how families across Canada may be ensured participation in the inquiry has led some indigenous leaders to call for the inquiry to be postponed.

Eric Robinson, former deputy premier and aboriginal affairs minister of Manitoba, said a delay is warranted to ensure the inquiry is fair and thorough.

“Let’s not do a job that’s in half-measures. I think that it’s got to be done in a thorough fashion and there’s got to be satisfaction … for the families,” Robinson said.

Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, who represents First Nations in northern Manitoba, said the process so far has been troublesome.

“I still believe that it should take place and that they should go forward and I respect the fact that they’re being flexible,” she said.

“But at the same time, I’m worried that the families … are losing a little bit of faith in the process because there seem to be some false starts.”

[SOURCE]

Advertisements

First Nations Chiefs Sign Agreement With RCMP To Address Racism Within Force

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, left, signs a memorandum of understanding with RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, during the AFN annual general assembly in Niagara Falls, Ont., on July 12, 2016. (Chris Glover/CBC)

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, left, signs a memorandum of understanding with RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, during the AFN annual general assembly in Niagara Falls, Ont., on July 12, 2016. (Chris Glover/CBC)

Annual gathering of Indigenous chiefs goes today through Thursday in Niagara Falls, Ont.

By Susana Mas, CBC News Posted: Jul 12, 2016

The Assembly of First Nations signed an agreement with the RCMP on Tuesday to address racism and discrimination within the force as the two sides look for new ways to improve relations ahead of the federal government’s inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The memorandum of understanding comes just over six months after RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson openly admitted during the Special Chiefs in Assembly last December there are “racists” inside his police force.

“We invited the commissioner back again … to be part of this MOU… about how can we work together to deal with issues, deal with all those misconceptions that are within the police,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde as the AFN kicked off its three-day annual general meeting in Niagara Falls, Ont.

“How can we work together to make sure that that air is cleared, that cloud is gone, that there is a bright sunny way within that RCMP?,” Bellegarde said.

While the government is not expected to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women during the assembly, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett told First Nations chiefs it is “very close” to making that announcement.

Bellegarde said an inquiry will force police to answer some difficult questions about the force’s own shortcomings.

“When the inquiry is announced, be prepared, because you will come under question and focus about why did you not put more resources into these things upon investigation… why was there not more respect for the families, why was there not more communication? All these things are going to come out.”

“There is still a lot of hurt, still a lot of pain with the families that are still looking for closure,” Bellegarde said.

The national chief said the launch of a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women could come later this month, or next month.

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde signs a memorandum of understanding with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett during the AFN annual general assembly in Niagara Falls, Ont., on July 12, 2016. (Chris Glover/CBC)

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde signs a memorandum of understanding with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett during the AFN annual general assembly in Niagara Falls, Ont., on July 12, 2016. (Chris Glover/CBC)

In his opening remarks, Bellegarde said Indigenous communities are “gaining momentum” — the theme of this year’s general assembly.

“It doesn’t mean all of our issues have been solved. But what it does mean is that, for the first time in a very long time, there is reason to believe that we are on the cusp of great change,” Bellegarde said.

“But it will take all of us, working together, to make it real for everyone.”

Bellegarde said the AFN also signed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government “to create a new fiscal relationship, one based on real needs.”

The AFN signed the MOU with Bennett to form a working group to advise the government on how it should move forward with funding for Indigenous communities.

The agreement follows the Trudeau government’s pledge to forge a new fiscal relationship with First Nations.

First Nations to benefit from Hydro One shares

The general assembly began with Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day announcing that First Nations communities in Ontario will benefit from the sale of Hydro One shares.

“As of 9 a.m. this morning, the province of Ontario has entered into an agreement in principle will all 133 First Nations communities to sell 15 million shares of Hydro One for our collective benefit,” Day said in his opening remarks.

Some eight months ago, Ontario began the biggest sell-off of a Canadian crown corporation in 20 years.

Chiefs will also hash out strategies for moving beyond the Indian Act, the primary legislation used by the federal government to administer everything from laws to membership and elections in First Nation communities.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is also scheduled to attend the assembly.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with chiefs at a 2015 AFN gathering, his office told CBC he will not be attending the general assembly in Niagara Falls this week.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/afn-meeting-niagara-falls-1.3674114

 

Daniel Paul Arrested In Connection With Girlfriend’s Homicide

Daniel Alphonse Paul has been arrested, according to the family of his girlfriend who was found dead last month in East Vancouver. (Vancouver police)

Daniel Alphonse Paul has been arrested, according to the family of his girlfriend who was found dead last month in East Vancouver. (Vancouver police)

CBC News

The family of a murdered woman says her boyfriend Daniel Paul was arrested by Vancouver Police on Wednesday.

The body of Rose Paul, a mother of five, was found March 3 in the basement suite of a home on East 22nd Avenue in Vancouver. Now her sister, Candace Paul, says she got a call from police saying he was arrested by two female police officers a month later.

“He was tried denying who he was and they’ll be busy with him for hours tonight,” Candace told CBC News.

“I can breathe now. It’s been so emotional and scary. Every day has been emotional. Just memories of my sister everywhere. We don’t have to be in fear anymore.”

Rose Paul

The body of Rose Paul, a mother of five, was found Mar. 3 in the basement suite of a home on East 22nd Avenue in Vancouver. (Vancouver Police Department)

Vancouver police had offered a $10,000 for information on Daniel Paul’s whereabouts in mid-March. They said Daniel Paul has a history of committing violent offences against women and it was possible that people who know him are helping him.

Daniel Paul was arrested after two officers spotted him riding his bike downtown. When confronted, he initially denied who he was, allegedly, but was arrested without incident.

Rose’s uncle, Howard Paul, added “I’m extremely happy that they finally caught him after a month on the run.”

‘Rosie’ — as she was known to family — was raising five girls aged eight to 19. She was described as beautiful, outgoing and loving.

“She helped all the young girls with the struggles of life,” Candace Paul said.

Brazil: Guarani ‘despair’ as female indigenous leader murdered

Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel was stabbed to death after campaigning for her tribe's ancestral land.

Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel was stabbed to death after campaigning for her tribe’s ancestral land.

Nov 04, 2014. Posted by Survival

An indigenous leader has been killed in central-western Brazil, after campaigning for her tribe’s ancestral land to be returned.

Marinalva Manoel, a 27-year-old Guarani Indian, was allegedly raped and stabbed to death. Her body was found on the side of a highway on Saturday.

Last month Marinalva traveled over 1,000 km to the capital, Brasília, with a delegation of Guarani leaders, to insist that the authorities fulfil their legal duty to return the land to the Guarani before more of their people are killed.

The Guarani Council, Aty Guasu, which voices the Indians’ demands, has released a letter calling on the authorities to investigate the murder, and proclaiming, “No more Guarani deaths!”

Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel's body was found on the side of a highway.

Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel’s body was found on the side of a highway.

Guarani leaders are frequently attacked and killed by gunmen employed by the ranchers who are occupying indigenous land and earning huge profits from sugar cane, soya and cattle whilst the Guarani are squeezed into reserves and roadside camps.

Suffering alarming rates of malnutrition, violence and suicide, the Guarani sometimes decide to reoccupy small patches of their ancestral land stolen from them decades ago, without which they cannot survive. Seven communities which recently carried out land reoccupations, including Marinalva’s community, now face eviction orders which could force them off their land yet again.

Guarani leader Eliseu Lopes told Survival, “We are fighting for our land, and we are being killed, one by one. They want to get rid of us altogether… We are in a state of despair, but we will not give up.”

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10531