Ontario responds to complaint from Anderson Family and NAPS regarding failure to permit Smudging inside for opening ceremony at Coroners Inquest
On Tuesday November 1st the Inquest into the death of Lena Anderson began with a traditional First Nation prayer and smudging ceremony. The ceremony was forced to take place outside the building because the building did not accommodate First Nation smudging ceremonies. Viewing this as violation of a religious/cultural right, counsel for NAPS and the Family wrote to the Ministry of the Attorney General seeking to have the matter immediately addressed. The Ministry has advised that going forward a special room will be provided in the building for these ceremonies. Lawyers Julian Falconer and Asha James will serve as counsel to the NAPS Chief of Police and the NAPS Board.
The inquest will continue on November 8th and closing submissions to the jury will take place on November 9th.
In The News
Smudging ban at inquest ‘deeply troubling’ for Indigenous families, lawyers say CBC, November 7, 2016