THUNDER BAY, ON, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN)
Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose has rejected an offer by the
Government of Ontario to convene meetings instead of a provincial
Commission of Inquiry into the deaths of seven NAN youth who have died
under similar circumstances since 2000 while attending school in
In a formal letter to the Government of Ontario, NAN Deputy Grand Chief
Waboose wrote today:
"This call for an Inquiry is out of recognition for the disturbingly
similar circumstances of the seven deaths since year 2000 and out of
respect for the needs of the families and communities who mourn their
losses. It is clear that the Coroner's Inquest process cannot
accomplish what needs to be done. While NAN has often addressed issues
through multi-lateral meetings, no amount of meetings will accomplish
the goal of full and credible scrutiny of all seven deaths."
NAN repeats its expectation that the Premier will provide a clear and
forthright answer to NAN's call for a Commission of Inquiry.
The call for a Commission of Inquiry follows last week's ruling by the
coroner in the Inquest into the Death of Reggie Bushie that the inquest
cannot proceed as the 2011 jury roll is legally invalid.
Reggie Bushie, 15, died in 2007 while attending school at Dennis
Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay. His body was recovered
from the McIntyre River on November 1, 2007 and an inquest into his
death was scheduled to begin in January 2009. The inquest was delayed,
however, after NAN and legal counsel for the Bushie family questioned
the validity of the selection process for the five-member jury.
While the death of Reggie Bushie was to be the focus of the inquest, the
deaths of four other NAN youth who died in Thunder Bay under similar
circumstances were to be considered as part of the overall context.
Since then, two more NAN youth - Kyle Morriseau, 17, and Jordan
Wabasse, 15 - have also died in Thunder Bay under similar
Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political territorial organization
representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty No. 9 and
Ontario portions of Treaty No. 5 - an area covering two thirds of the
province of Ontario.
SOURCE Nishnawbe Aski Nation
For further information:
Amy Harris, Director of Communications - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4906 or (807) 252-2806 cell or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dottie Goriah - Falconer-Charney LLP (416) 964-3408 ext. 243 or DottieG@falconercharney.com
For more information on the exclusion of First Nations from jury rolls: