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Police across province respond to allegations of mistreatment and abuse of power with Indigenous women PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski, Manfred Joehnck   
Monday, 19 June 2017 15:33

Police Chief Clive Wieghill on June 19, 2017. Video stillshot from @SaskatoonPolice, Facebook.

A report released on Monday that alleges police mistreatment of 64 Saskatchewan Indigenous women, is getting a quick response from each force named in the 32-page document.

The Human Rights Watch report includes women’s recollections of being groped by male police officers, being roughed up by police, and a lack of urgency in responding to domestic calls involving Indigenous women. The alleged incidences involve the municipal police in Saskatoon, Regina, and Prince Albert and the RCMP.

Saskatoon Police and the RCMP have responded by saying they take all allegations of this nature seriously and urged anyone with specific cases to contact them, with RCMP also directing people to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission and Saskatoon Police mentioning the FSIN Special Investigations Unit or the province’s Public Complaints Commission as outlets for complaints.

During a media availability Monday afternoon, Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill said his service has learned from its checkered history with Indigenous people and is improving cross-cultural understanding, but "a document like this comes out and gives our service and policing in Canada absolutely no credit for a lot of the work that's being done. I think it's very, very unfair."

Meanwhile, Regina police released their entire response given to the Human Rights Watch when the group sent police a lengthy questionnaire during their fact-finding mission in 2016. That questionnaire was not included in the final report.

Deputy Police Chief Dean Rae says the report has left him “frustrated.

“We understand that there is some trust issues in the community but we are working towards working through those issues and helping people understand that.”

In a news release, Prince Albert Police Chief Troy Cooper said his city has a strong representation of Indigenous women in leadership, and that the police service is closely connected to those groups.

"Many members of our service are indigenous, so this issue is near to the organization,” he said in the release.

He said he is considering forming an advisory committee of local Indigenous women who can review the report and provide local feedback and recommendations to Prince Albert police.

The RCMP shared a nine-point list of its actions to address issues mentioned in the report, including expanding Indigenous training for officers.

Last Updated on Monday, 19 June 2017 15:53
Indigenous NFB tour coming to Waskesiu and La Ronge PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Monday, 19 June 2017 12:45

Photo courtesy National Film Board website

The National Film Board of Canada is doing a cross country tour of films and documentaries that tell stories of Indigenous people through the eyes of Indigenous filmmakers.

The tour is #Aabiziingwashi (#WideAwake): NFB Indigenous Cinema on Tour and features stories of our land as told by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit filmmakers.  Aabiziingwashi means ‘wide awake’ or ‘unable to sleep’ in Anishinaabe, and uses the power of cinema as a universal language, to build new understandings and connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Michelle van Beusekom is an executive director with the NFB and says the films provide powerful insight into the lives of First Nation, Metis and Inuit people.

“These films can be affirming to see what many of us have known and understood, but to see them told in a film from the Indigenous point of view, it shows how powerful film can be as a medium,” says van Beusekom.

One of the stops on the tour is this week (Thursday) at Waskesiu Lake where the film Angry Inuk will be shown.  The story follows a group of Inuit people and their campaign to challenge the established perceptions on seal hunting. It shows how they use social media and their own style of humor and justice to tell their story of how the ban on seal products by the European Union has affected their livelihood and survival.

Van Beusekom says the tour is unique in that any community can request a screening from the two hundred and fifty different Indigenous films in the NFB library.

“Every week or every couple of weeks, the NFB has been receiving inquiries on how the tour can make a stop in their community,” she says.

Many of the screenings are free of charge, but van Beusekom says in some places, a fee may have to be charged to cover the cost of bringing the film in.

A second stop in the province is set for July 5 in La Ronge, when the documentary “Birth of a Family” is shown.  This film is Shot by Tasha Hubbard of Saskatoon, about Betty Ann Adam of Saskatoon. Both are Indigenous women taken away from their parents during the 60s Scoop. They grew up in a white family and met their blood relatives late in life. This will be held at the Jonas Roberts Memorial Community Centre Hall at 10:30 am.

Van Beusekom says if people are interested in requesting a screening in their community, they can contact the National Film Board through their website at http://wideawake.nfb.ca/ and they can also look through the archives to see what is available.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 07:22
Great showing for northern athletes at Special Olympics PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Monday, 19 June 2017 11:10

Photo supplied by Kelly Haydukewich

A handful of athletes from northern Saskatchewan were in action this past weekend in Moose Jaw, competing in the 2017 Special Olympics Saskatchewan Summer Games.

It was a great success for northern athletes, as they took home ten medals.

Tyler Tsannie (Wollaston Lake/La Ronge) 
400m - Gold
800m - Silver
1500m - Silver
3000m - Gold
Long Jump - Gold

Carlon Custer (Air Ronge) - Bronze Medal

Bocce Ball
Katie Clarke (Stony Rapids) - Bronze Medal
Irene Roberts (Sucker River) - Bronze Medal
Jessica Anderson (La Ronge) - Silver Medal
Matthew McKenzie (Air Ronge) - Silver Medal

Last Updated on Monday, 19 June 2017 11:15
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