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COMMENTARY · 13th February 2013
Merv Ritchie
RCMP accused of rape and more - local Indians subjugated.

Finally, after six years of covering the racism and bigotry in Terrace, enduring years of personal attacks for telling the truth, the world community has had their eyes directed to the Northwest. Human Rights Watch, an organization whose main role is to investigate third world horror of police corruption and death camps have centered their attention on our region. The RCMP have been specifically targeted by the allegations.

This is not a surprise to us at the Terrace Daily. The RCMP has sanctioned us for bringing attention to these issues. The other media, who never cover the racism and bigotry issues, received a letter of support from the local RCMP Inspector.

We have many unsubstantiated stories of abuse, anonymous emails and personal relationships with many who have suffered abuse at the hands of the RCMP. None wish to come forward as they live in fear. The Human Rights Watch release today supports all these claims. When Judge Ramsey was jailed and the RCMP officers involved were let free to go without charges, after another young woman died knowing her RCMP abusers would never face justice, one must wonder why this report took so long.

The truth and reconciliation process fails primarily due to the first word, truth. Truth has been denied from the beginning. The Indian peoples of the Northwest first faced a genocide perpetrated by the British Colonial House Speaker, Dr. Helmken. Then when the Nisga’a and Tsimshian appeared again in Victoria after BC became a Province the Potlatch was banned. Again, when the Native Brotherhood appeared in Ottawa and clearly laid out their case in proper legal terms, the Federal Government started the residential school system, banned lawyers from representing them and seized their children, making an assembly of three or more Indians in one room an offence. Hence all gatherings began with the singing of Onward Christian Soldiers, to make the gathering an accepted religious event. Read Much More with the Details Here

Today, as Human Rights Watch so clearly lays out, the mental anguish and the subjugation has the locals living in such a state of fear, from generations of abuses, many have taken to the ways of their abusers, attempting to force their own people into compliance to avoid any further hardships. It is a condition seen in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Welcome to the truth about Northwest BC. It is difficult to hide from it now.

What follows (in the next two posts), are the Human Rights Watch Report and a response by the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). The BCCLA delivered a report on the North called Small Town Justice and spent the majority of their attention on Terrace, which necessitated a second trip to the community to hear the stories. Many of the allegations are anonymous. When one is told by their abusing police officer, if you tell anyone we will kill you and make it look like an accident, one can imagine why these women choose to remain anonymous and fail to file a report. When one considers the number of missing women from Highway 16, the Highway of Tears, along with the failure of the RCMP to find any perpetrators, and after considering the Judge Ramsey evidence now along with the Human Rights Watch report, the attention to the real criminals must be refocused.