Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus and Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq will be marching to the Department of Justice Canada Saturday to call the federal government for an independent investigation into reports of crimes committed against Indigenous peoples.
The march will start tomorrow at noon at the Centennial Flame monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. It will then proceed to the Department of Justice Canada headquarters.
Angus said the pressure is on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action and shine a light on the committed crimes as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Canada are demanding justice and accountability.
“This is important because there was an agreement signed between First Nation leaders, the federal government and the various Christian churches involved in residential schools,” Angus said. “But the mass graves have shown us that serious crimes were committed. And unfortunately, the Catholic Church hasn’t moved up to its legal obligations.”
Earlier in July, MPs held a press conference where they called Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti to appoint a fully funded special prosecutor to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into residential schools, day schools, sanatoriums and other places where Indigenous people have faced violence and abuse.
The MPs said they want the special prosecutor to have the mandate to seek advice and guidance from the International Criminal Court.
They also want the special prosecutor to have the right to make the information public and to have the ability to access the documents through subpoena if necessary.
“The government is taking a position that they don’t have the power to establish a special prosecutor. That’s a ridiculous position to take,” Angus said. “What they’re saying is they don’t have the political will to launch these investigations.”
To view the event’s Facebook page, click here.
A 24-hour residential school crisis line offering support to former students and their families is available at 1-866-925-4419.
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com