May 28/98: UN-affiliated group probes BC deaths


The Province
May 28, 1998, p. A16
Canadian Press

[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news articles may contain biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. They are provided for reference only.]

A group affiliated with the United Nations will be in Vancouver next month to investigate allegations of deaths and abuse at BC's former native residential schools. The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities says it is disturbed by "repeated eyewitness accounts of murders and other atrocities in BC native residential schools." It has called a tribunal for June 12-14. United Nations staff member Vladmir Shveitser confirmed the association is an affiliate of the United Nations.

A news release said association officers will "investigate allegations of murder, torture and medical experimentation on native children" at the schools. The residential schools operated for many decades in BC and other provinces. Native children were forced to attend and could not speak their own language or practise their culture. The association claims to have approximately 7 hours of eyewitness testimony on videotape and written documentation to support an in-depth investigation. Prime Minister Jean Chretien, church officials and other groups involved in the administration of the schools have been asked to attend.

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