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DID YOU KNOW: Aboriginal Justice Awareness Day

DID YOU KNOW: Aboriginal Justice Awareness Day

In 1991, The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba issued a report on the state of Indigenous Justice in Manitoba, in response to concerns about the quality of policing and of investigations into matters concerning Indigenous people. The Commission of Inquiry back then was composed of Alvin Hamilton, former Associate Chief Justice of Manitoba of the

In 1991, The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba issued a report on the state of Indigenous Justice in Manitoba, in response to concerns about the quality of policing and of investigations into matters concerning Indigenous people. The Commission of Inquiry back then was composed of Alvin Hamilton, former Associate Chief Justice of Manitoba of the Court of Queen’s Bench, and Murray Sinclair, Anishinaabe, then Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court. The Inquiry was created in response to two incidents:

The 1971 murder of Helen Betty Osborne in The Pas. Helen Betty Osbourne was a Cree woman from Norway Cree First Nation who was kidnapped and murdered while walking down Third Street in The Pas, Manitoba. Allegations were made that the identity of four people present at the killing was known widely in the community shortly after the murder and nothing was done because the murder victim was Indian and female (racism and sexism was the focal point).

The death of J.J. Harper. John Joseph “J.J.” Harper was from Wasagamack, Manitoba, an Executive Director of the Island Lake Tribal Council, who was shot and killed by Winnipeg City Police Constable Robert Cross on March 9, 1988. Many people, particularly in the Indigenous community, believed many questions about the incident were left unanswered by the police service’s internal investigation as racism against Indigenous people was the focal point. On August 2, 2008, over 20 years after Harper was killed, his nephew Craig McDougall was also shot and killed by Winnipeg City Police.

On Friday January 26th is Aboriginal Justice Awareness Day. Indigenous offices across the country will be closed today, which is also known as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada.

White Spotted Horse, Lodge Keeper, Earth Lodge

 

 

 

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