(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek says the appointment of an independent Special Interlocutor today by federal Justice Minister David Lametti does not eliminate the need for an independent investigation of crimes and human rights violations associated with Residential Institutions.
“While the appointment of an independent Special Interlocutor is one element needed to move forward with protecting unmarked burial sites, the Assembly of First Nations will continue to press for an independent criminal investigation so those responsible for the crimes that took place are held accountable,” said Regional Chief Kluane Adamek. “Truth is required before reconciliation and having an impartial investigation of the critical violations of First Nations human rights, with the same urgency and investment as with this appointment, is required to pave the way for accountability and real justice.”
Minister Lametti announced the appointment of Kimberly Murray to the role of Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools to identify needed measures and recommend a new federal framework to ensure the respectful and culturally appropriate treatment of unmarked graves and burial sites of children at former Residential Institutions. The federal Department of Justice announced in August 2021 it would appoint a Special Interlocutor and provided $10.4 million for the role over two years in the 2022 federal budget.
AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald called for a United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur to investigate crimes and human rights violations associated with Residential Institutions at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on April 25, 2022. UN Special Rapporteur Francisco Cali Tzay has told media he will visit Canada but is not mandated to investigate crimes related to Residential Institutions. The National Chief has requested a meeting with him during his visit to speak about other international options. The AFN has also asked the International Criminal Court to investigate and hold all parties responsible for Residential Institutions accountable for crimes against humanity.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.