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Canada 'Start speaking up for us,' Indigenous woman tells public inquiry in Montreal

22:31  12 february  2018
22:31  12 february  2018 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Quebec Indigenous inquiry sits in Montreal

  Quebec Indigenous inquiry sits in Montreal Quebec Indigenous inquiry sits in MontrealSedalia Fazio, a Mohawk elder originally from Kahnawake who presided over the opening prayer, said the timing of the hearings was difficult given the verdict in the Colten Boushie case.

Witness tells Montreal hearings how, when she wanted to put her children into another school, the On Monday, Kawennotas testified at a public inquiry into the mistreatment of Quebec’s Indigenous “People need to start speaking up for us ; our children are no different than your children

‘ Start speaking up for us ,’ Mohawk grandmother tells inquiry . Inquiry told of Montreal police ‘prejudices’ against Indigenous Peoples.

021218-0213_city_inquiry_3640:  © Vincenzo D'Alto

Like thousands of other First Nations people across Canada, Sedalia Kawennotas was angry and frustrated by the acquittal on Friday of a Saskatchewan farmer who fatally shot an Indigenous man who was on his property.

On Monday, Kawennotas was one of the first witnesses to testify at a public inquiry into relations between Quebec’s Indigenous people and government institutions that opened in Montreal. She used the platform to call for changes to the justice system and better education for students and new immigrants to Canada about the history and hardship faced by First Nations people.

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Wednesday's discussion focused on the relationship between the Indigenous community in Montreal and the city's police force. Related. ‘ Start speaking up for us ,’ Mohawk grandmother tells inquiry .

“People need to start speaking up for us, our children are no different than your children,” Kawennotas told the inquiry, headed by retired Superior Court Justice Jacques Viens. “(Farmer Gerald Stanley) would be in jail right now if that had been a white boy, but it was only a native kid.”

The hearings, which are open to the public, are taking place at the Palais des Congrès over the next two weeks. Viens will hear from members of the local Mohawk community who have experienced discrimination, its leaders, community workers who deal with Aboriginal people, and university professors.

The inquiry — Listening, Reconciliation and Progress — began in Val-d’Or in 2017 and has already heard from 131 witnesses. It will look at the way different government services, such as police, health care, correctional, youth protection, justice and social services, have been delivered to Indigenous people over the past 15 years, in an effort to “prevent or eliminate … all forms of violence and discriminatory practices.”

Calls for an inquiry grew in 2016 after an investigation into allegations that provincial police abused Indigenous women in Val-d’Or concluded there was not enough evidence to lay charges.

Viens will offer recommendations to the government when he submits his report in September, 2019.

The inquiry can be viewed live at cerp.gouv.qc.ca.

kwilton@postmedia.com

Man dead, brother main suspect in Gay Village stabbing .
A 55-year-old man has died after a fight with his brother escalated. Police responded to a call Saturday in the late afternoon at an apartment in Montreal's Gay Village. The man had been stabbed in the upper body.When police arrived, the victim's brother, a 61-year-old man, was on the scene. The victim was taken to hospital in critical condition where he later died of his wounds.A perimeter was established on Beaudry St. between De Maisonneuve Blvd. and Ontario St., but lifted at around 8:00 a.m. Sunday.The brother is now in custody and according to police, will likely face charges.

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