FRANK PAUL – May 8 Ceremony Rally, DTES Meal
The community is invited to support a "Crossing Over" ceremony conducted by Mikmaq elder Henry Augustine, flying in Tuesday evening from New Brunswick. Squamish Chief Bill Williams will open. Assisting Henry is Fabian George representing Squamish and Derek Wilson representing the North West Coast.
The elder has invited those who have lost a loved one to violence – to bring yellow cloth to add to the ceremony which beings at 5:30 pm Thursday, May 8, 2008 in the alley behind the Vancouver Detox 377E.2nd Ave. The "Crossing Over" ceremony is for the spirits of the deceased to finally find peace.
We will then walk to Hastings and Main street to listen to other speakers: Lawyer Lyn Crompton, elder Bill Lightbown, & David Dennis who works for the United Native Nations.
Feeding the People of the DTES
After the speakers, IAM will host a "Hamburger Soup and Frybread" meal right at Main & Hastings to feed Downtown Eastside residents and those in attendance of the ceremony. It is a concerted effort to demonstrate solidarity with the community and an appropriate way to honour the memory of Frank Paul, as this area was his home in his final days.
INDIGENOUS ACTION MOVEMENT
The Indigenous Action Movement is a grassroots group that represents the concerns of Aboriginal people in the Vancouver community and throughout Canada and North America. Formed in August of 2000, the IAM is driven by a core group of individuals committed to the human rights and justice of Aboriginal people. In 1998, a Micmac man named Frank Paul died in the custody of the Vancouver Police Department. The VPD dumped his body in the alley behind the Vancouver Detox. Cause of death was cited as ‘exposure’. In Nova Scotia, Mr. Paul’s family was told he died being hit by a car. As they pressed, the truth became known.
In 2008, the inquiry is still ongoing and the judgement handed in at end of May 2008.
The Indigenous Action Movement has been on the forefront of keeping the community involved and informed of the proceedings and has been a liaison to the family. IAM has held peaceful protests to bring attention and awareness to this gross violation of human rights and has received major media and newspapers coverage on this matter. IAM seeks to bring understanding to all people of the larger issues of Aboriginal rights and justice for ALL the Aboriginal people who have been mistreated or who have died while in the custody of authorities.
Feel Free to Add to the Table Although great efforts have already been put forth to ensure the success of this event, at this time we are asking all people and businesses in our local and surrounding community to come to our aid to drop off snacks and frybread if you can! Hychka!!
Supported by DERA, DEYAS, Vancouver Native Health Society, APC, NOII, DOWTOWN EASTSIDE WOMEN’S CENTRE, SWEETGRASS PLACE, UBCIC, DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE. (Health Canada paid for Henry’s flight) Hychka!
Kat Norris, Lyackson First Nation, Coast Salish Territories
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