National Chief Hopeful the Frank Paul Inquiry Will Reveal the Truth
OTTAWA, Nov. 14 – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine welcomed the inquiry into the death of Frank Paul, which is being conducted by Justice William H. Davies in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Nearly 9 years after Frank Paul froze to death shortly after being released by Vancouver Police, we are finally seeing a public inquiry begin. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. There have been many cases of First Nations people who have died while in custody or shortly after being released under questionable circumstances. I am hopeful that this inquiry can uncover the truth and deliver some form of justice and closure to the family and friends of Frank Paul,” said National Chief Fontaine. “Events such as the deaths of Dudley George, JJ Harper, Connie and Ty Jacobs, and the “Starlight Tours” in Saskatoon are examples that have spawned past public inquiries. Despite these tragedies, First Nations remain committed to working with the justice system to resolve the difficulties that many First Nations people face when they come into contact with the law,” said the National Chief.
Along with providing answers to the Paul family, the inquiry will also provide an opportunity for Justice Davies to make recommendations regarding provincial policing practices in relation to First Nations people.
“We urge federal and provincial governments to carefully consider the recommendations that will follow the Frank Paul inquiry, and further, implement the recommendations of past public inquiries to address the systemic challenges facing First Nations and public law authorities in a meaningful way.”
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
For further information: Joan McEwen, Communications Director, (613) 241-6789 ext. 242 or cell (613) 324-3329 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor – Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243 or cell (613) 298-6382 or email@example.com; Josee Bellemare, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext. 336 or cell (613) 327-6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org