Posted on June 9, 2020 (updated: June 9, 2020)

STATEMENT: Ecojustice stands with Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

There will be no environmental justice without racial justice

OTTAWA – Ecojustice stands with Chief Allan Adam and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, as they call for greater transparency in the wake of another disturbing incident involving RCMP officers and allegations of police brutality and racism.

Chief Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan says that on March 10, he and his wife were brutally beaten by RCMP officers who had stopped them for an expired licence plate. The incident is now being investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, an independent body that investigates deaths or injuries involving police in the province.

Ecojustice lawyer and University of Ottawa professor of law and medicine Amir Attaran, who represents the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation on a number of environmental litigation files, said today:

“Chief Adam’s experience is just one example of the undercurrent of anti-Indigenous racism endemic to policing in Canada.

“Colonialism and violence built the country we now call Canada, and this colonialism and violence continues today.

“There is a reason Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately subject to police brutality, violence, and incarceration. And in simply trying survive the institutions that continue to deny them their dignity, entire generations of Indigenous Peoples have been robbed of opportunities to heal traumas, build community, and assert their rights.

“Chief Adam’s call for transparency and justice must be answered, and the RCMP made to answer for their actions.”

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