National Chief Hopeful the Frank Paul Inquiry Will Reveal the Truth



    OTTAWA, Nov. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine welcomed the inquiry into the death of Frank Paul, which is
being conducted by Justice William H. Davies in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    "Nearly 9 years after Frank Paul froze to death shortly after being
released by Vancouver Police, we are finally seeing a public inquiry begin.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. There have been many cases of
First Nations people who have died while in custody or shortly after being
released under questionable circumstances. I am hopeful that this inquiry can
uncover the truth and deliver some form of justice and closure to the family
and friends of Frank Paul," said National Chief Fontaine.
    "Events such as the deaths of Dudley George, JJ Harper, Connie and Ty
Jacobs, and the "Starlight Tours" in Saskatoon are examples that have spawned
past public inquiries. Despite these tragedies, First Nations remain committed
to working with the justice system to resolve the difficulties that many First
Nations people face when they come into contact with the law," said the
National Chief.
    Along with providing answers to the Paul family, the inquiry will also
provide an opportunity for Justice Davies to make recommendations regarding
provincial policing practices in relation to First Nations people.
    "We urge federal and provincial governments to carefully consider the
recommendations that will follow the Frank Paul inquiry, and further,
implement the recommendations of past public inquiries to address the systemic
challenges facing First Nations and public law authorities in a meaningful
way."

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Joan McEwen, Communications Director, (613)
241-6789 ext. 242 or cell (613) 324-3329 or jmcewen@afn.ca; Nancy Pine,
Communications Advisor - Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243
or cell (613) 298-6382 or npine@afn.ca; Josee Bellemare, Bilingual
Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext. 336 or cell (613) 327-6331 or
jbellemare@afn.ca


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