New Brunswick racism commissioner calls for public inquiry into Indigenous treatment

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FREDERICTON — A report by New Brunswick's commissioner on systemic racism calls for a public inquiry to be held "without delay" into racism against Indigenous people in the justice system.

The interim report is dated April but was released today by the province's Mi'kmaq chiefs.

In a statement, the Chiefs of the Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn say they expected commissioner Manju Varma to release her interim report earlier, but they believe she changed her mind after meeting with government officials to share the contents.

As a result, the chiefs say they will no longer participate in Varma's work.

The interim report also recommends restoring all place names that contain racist terminology against Indigenous peoples with their original Wabanaki names, or names recommended by First Nations, by no later than June 21, 2022.

It also calls for the establishment of a permanent office to combat systemic racism in New Brunswick.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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