AMC supports the Hudson family calls to expand the scope of the Inquest into the fatal police shooting of Eishia Hudson
June 3, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and family of the late Eishia Hudson jointly release the following statement on the day following Eishia’s 18th birthday.
In a letter to the Honourable Cameron Friesen, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Manitoba, the family outlined shortcomings from the Independent Investigative Unit’s (IIU) Final Report on the fatal police-involved shooting of Eishia, calling on the Minister to expand the scope of the Inquest to consider systemic racism within the Winnipeg Police Service. These calls further recommended that the Minister appoint independent counsel from a private law firm as Inquest Counsel along with a review of the IIU’s decision to not press charges against the subject officer involved in Eishia’s death.
William Hudson, father of Eishia, remarked, “Yesterday was a sombre day knowing that it would have been my daughter’s birthday – one that she cannot celebrate here with us. We honour her life and legacy by continuing to demand justice for her through every means possible. Yesterday, we sent a letter to Minister Friesen to remind him of the flaws in the IIU’s Final Report. These shortcomings leave so many questions unanswered for our family, all First Nations and all allies who stand with in demand of the truth.”
Christie Zebrasky, mother of Eishia, stated, “My daughter was supposed to graduate high school, to enjoy life. She had a whole career planned ahead of her – she wanted to be a lawyer or work in health care. Her life was taken not only from me but from all who loved her. The IIU’s findings are unacceptable. We are left without closure. We are left without answers.”
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “The lack of any mention of systemic racism in the IIU’s Final report is a significant oversight. The IIU is in dire need of changes to ensure that their investigations are truly independent. As it stands, this investigation was questionable at best, but more likely insufficient, biased and mishandled.”
Grand Chief added, “With recent events of First Nation children being found in mass graves at former Indian Residential Schools and our country in mourning, the time is now for the Minister to stand with First Nations and work with families like Eishia’s who continue to grieve the loss of an Indigenous child. The world is watching how governments at all levels respond to injustice. The Justice Minister must listen and take action that ensures not only procedural justice is followed, but take action that instills public faith in the administration of justice where it concerns police treatment of First Nations people.”