Stonechild Affairs Sparks Plans for Large Protest

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 14:18



A band member from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation says recent controversy in Saskatchewan’s justice system is prompting him to help lead a protest march in Saskatoon.


Donald Morin says he’s not the only one who feels that the rights of Aboriginal people are being trampled on by a justice system that doesn’t recognize them.


Morin says fallout over the recent Neil Stonechild inquiry is the most glaring example right now, but also cites the sexual assault of a 12-year-old Cree girl in Tisdale as another reason to question the status quo.


That’s why he and others will march from the University of Saskatchewan to the Saskatoon Police Station on Friday.


Morin says he hopes the march will help bolster the confidence of the Stonechild family along with Saskatoon’s police chief, who recently fired the two officers who have been implicated in the Stonechild affair.


Morin also hopes it will make residents throughout the province realize the case impacts them, as well.


Morin says other issues that need to be addressed are the government¹s failure to implement recommendations of the Commission on First Nations and Metis People and Justice Reform.


As well, he says the system has to acknowledge that many wrongs have been done to Aboriginal people in the past.


Morin says many of these tasks may seem impossible, but he feels change has to start at the grassroots level before it goes to the top.


He hopes the Friday morning rally will be a step in that direction.