Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Help Remove the Gag from Survivors of Genocide in Canada

The following statement was issued by the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared, Canada

I wish them much success in this endeavor and encourage others to support them and participate in this historic and very important event. --Kitty Hundal.

"Participate in our Peoples' Inquiry into Residential Schools on June 15 in Winnipeg - Put and End to the Government and Church Coverup known as the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission"

May 1, 2010

Dear friends,

For nearly two decades, in the face of enormous repression and concealment by church and state, our network has documented the stories of torture, genocide and murder by survivors of Indian residential schools across Canada, and has forced this issue onto the national political agenda.

In response, the groups responsible for the death of nearly half the children in these institutions - the government of Canada and the Catholic, Anglican and United Church - have exonerated themselves from their crimes and established their own "truth and reconciliation commission" (TRC) to whitewash their responsibility for clearly intentional crimes against humanity.

This "TRC" is in essence an enormous miscarriage of justice.

The TRC has no power to lay criminal charges or issue subpoenas, will not allow the naming of names or presenting of evidence of wrongdoing in residential schools, will not grant protective immunity to those testifying, and will prevent its findings to be used in courts of law.

With such restrictions and censorship, the TRC will be incapable of conducting any serious inquiry into crimes in Indian residential schools, or of issuing any kind of detailed or accurate report about this tragic history that claimed the lives of at least 50,000 children over a century.

Not only will this "official" self-examination by the parties guilty of a crime provide no satisfaction to the thousands of survivors who are seeking an open forum in which they can be freely heard, and seek justice, but the mandate of the "TRC" violates international human rights protocols requiring an impartial and open inquiry into apparent crimes against humanity, and the proper consultation of victims of such criminal acts.

In response, our network and other survivors of church abuse will be holding a counter hearing process across Canada to provide a real and open inquiry into the Indian residential schools of Canada.

This counter hearing will be known as The Peoples' Inquiry into Crimes in Indian Residential Schools, and will commence on the day that the "TRC" opens its first forum, on Tuesday, June 15 at The Forks in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Our hearing will be held near to the site of the TRC event and will invite survivors to present their full stories and evidence of what they suffered in these schools, and what they still endure, in an uncensored venue.

We anticipate and have requested the presence of international human rights observers at our event on June 15, in order to monitor the evidence submitted to our forum, and any possible irregularities or restrictions occurring at the government's "TRC" event.

Our campaign has the support of survivors' groups, human rights networks and the news media in Europe and other regions, and its events and findings will be reported around the world.

Our aim is to produce and issue an eventual Counter Report to the government's TRC report that can be used to bring charges against Canada and its churches.

We invite you to officially endorse and take part in our June 15 counter hearing and open forum, and help us record for the world the complete evidence of crimes in Canadian Indian residential schools.

We see our campaign as part of a growing international movement to bring to justice those responsible for the organized criminal abuse and trafficking in children, including church, government and police agencies.

Please contact us at this email or at 250-753-3345 in Canada. More information will be sent to you soon, as part of international press advisories concerning our actions.

Sincerely,

Rev. Kevin Annett, Secretary
Chief Louis Daniels - Whispers Wind, Elder, Anishinabe Nation
for The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared - Canada"

More information is available from the Hidden From History web site
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