Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee has heaped praise on the Durham Regional Police, saying he is impressed with the respect shown during a dig for three murdered boys at a farm north of Toronto in Anishinabek Nation territory.
“Detective Sgt. Mitch Martin, Major Crime Unit – Homicide, and his team at the Durham Regional Police handled this site dig in a very respectful way,” said Madahbee. “The positive and respectful way that the Durham Regional Police worked with us and other First Nation leadership is a good example of how First Nations and police services can work collaboratively with each other.”
Madahbee said community protocols and perspectives were sought and respected during an investigation, and ceremonies were conducted by communities closest to the farm in October.
Investigators tore up the concrete floor of a barn where a woman says she witnessed murdered First Nations boys buried in the 1950s. Police have found nothing after digging up the barn.
Karen Restoule, Justice Coordinator for the Chiefs of Ontario, said even though Glenna Mae Breckenridge’s accounts were not accurate in terms of location of the bodies, her allegations raise the issue of missing children from that time period.
“The state, church and authorities placed little value on the lives of First Nations peoples and in particular as we see here–on the lives of First Nations children,” said Restoule. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is doing research on the issue of missing and unreported cases of missing First Nations children in their ‘Missing Children Project.’” So far the project has identified 4,100 children missing from Indian residential schools who were unreported.
Madahbee said First Nations communities have stated that they might know of three missing First Nation boys in that area and an investigation should be opened to find them.
“The investigations into Glenna Mae’s claims were very thorough – they dug wider and deeper than originally suggested,” said Madahbee. “I thank all of those involved in this investigation.”