In 2021, the 'March for Justice' was a protest aimed to put pressure on the Canadian government to investigate crimes carried out against Indigenous peoples at residential schools.
In Nunavut, a priest named Rivoire, originally from France, is accused of sex-related offences connected to his time in Naujaat and Rankin Inlet in Nunavut during the 1960s. But the RCMP only issued a warrant for his arrest in 1998, five years after he returned to France.
In addition to the survivors who were there themselves fighting for justice, parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends of victims were also marching in solidarity with loved ones.
Nunatsiaq news spoke to an elder, Sytukie Joamie of Iqaluit, who shared how the spirits of the children who died at residential schools will be freed “once justice is carried out.”
The Canadian Press obtained a briefing note, through the freedom of information act and it read,
“As the Department of Justice has advised, the appointment of an independent federal ‘special prosecutor’ is not feasible within the current legislative framework, because of jurisdictional considerations.”
And yet, the litany of abuses suffered by Indigenous children at these schools has been part of the public record for well over a century. In 1907, Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce, chief medical officer for the Department of Indian Affairs, wrote a scathing report on the conditions in residential schools. It was distributed to members of Parliament and the churches that administered many of the institutions. The findings even appeared on the front page of the Evening Citizen (the precursor to the Ottawa Citizen). In it, Bryce revealed the “absolute inattention to the bare necessities of health” in the Indian Residential Schools.” Shared the National Geographic.
why has there been so little effort to bring those who carried out the abuse to account?
How can we move towards healing, from inaction to action, that allow us to imagine a path forward?
How can we have peace if we have no justice?