Nov 05, 2021
By Christine Ross
There are calls for Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs to step down from both the NDP and residential school survivors.
New Democrat MPP Sol Mawmakwa, also a school survivor, says Greg Rickford needs to go over his involvement in a previous settlement agreement with survivors.
“There is no trust here, every time we hear Mr. Rickford talk about residential schools and the search for our missing children, or the crimes of the past, we are re-traumatized.”
Some survivors allege Rickford’s business partner Doug Keshan exploited them by transferring thousands of dollars in compensation to himself.
Rickford was a character witness for Keshan in 2015 when a group of survivors brought their concerns to the Law Society.
Six Nation school survivor Darlene LaForme says in additional to Rickford’s removal, they want the search of former residential school grounds to be led by First nations communities.
“Only we as survivors know what justice will be for us, we would be considerate of our community needs and be mindful of the spirits of those children found and seek justice for them and we don’t want the Minister of Indigenous Affairs telling us how to proceed.”
The Premier released a statement defending Minister Rickford.
“Minister Rickford was decades removed from the events that were complained about. Every single allegation against the member of this law firm were withdrawn or dismissed. Any inferences to the minister and these allegations are completely false.”