NEWS RELEASE · 16th June 2010
Aboriginal people protest at Canadian government's first "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" forum in Winnipeg, demand real inquiry into Indian residential schools
Chief Peter Yellow Quill of the Anishinabe nation has been burned off his land and assaulted for challenging Canada's colonial Indian Act: and yesterday, he stood with other residential school survivors in resistance to the so-called "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" (TRC) that opened in Winnipeg, Canada.
"This was organized murder and child rape! And we won't be able to even name the names of those responsible at this farce!" declared Peter to the crowd of protestors and reporters.
"We have been too nice to these people! When they gave us their 'apology' they were just giving themselves a defacto immunity for their crimes!"
More than thirty police confronted Peter and other natives as they rallied outside the TRC forum in downtown Winnipeg, and waved placards reading "All the children need a proper burial!" and "Stop the TRC whitewash!".
The rally was sponsored by The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD), which has led high profile demonstrations and church occupations across Canada since 2007, calling for the prosecution of the churches that ran residential schools.
Chantelle Devillier, another residential school victim, told reporters that she was raped and tortured repeatedly from the age of nine in a Catholic Indian school, and wants criminal charges laid.
"So what's the point of me just telling my story? We need prison terms for the men who did it to me!".
The rally was called in response to the restrictions and censorship imposed on survivors who try sharing their story at the TRC forum, and the need for a real inquiry with the power to lay criminal charges against the guilty churches.
Chief Yellowquill told reporters,
"We just learned that you have to go to a 'training session' at the TRC forum before you can even tell your story, so the feds get to vet and censor what you say. This whole thing is one huge obstruction of justice, and the world needs to know this!"
The protestors plan to picket the TRC every day and call upon all survivors to boycott its proceedings. They and the FRD are also planning followup protests at Winnipeg locations over the coming weeks, culminating in a public meeting to initiate an independent residential school inquiry, on Monday June 28 at 7:00 pm at the University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage avenue, in Theatre A, fourth floor of Manitoba Hall.
FRD founder Kevin Annett will be one of the featured speakers.