As a citizen of the Yukon, I am appalled and disgusted at the situation that occurred in Haines, Alaska, in regards to chief Eddie Skookum’s assault of his girlfriend Ã even more so of his reduced charges. I believe the Alaskan authorities may have been intimidated by the First Nation aspect of the situation.
While there may be sensitivities, I do not believe this is only an internal matter for the Carmack’s people to be swept away. I believe that as citizens of Yukon and Canada, the standards of comportment, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and laws need to be upheld here and abroad by all our citizens, and above all, our leaders. The assault on a young Canadian woman, of native ancestry or not, left bloodied, beaten and abandoned in a parking lot should not be dismissed. All First Nation people should be demanding his removal. As a chief, he is a representative of not only his people but of all First Nations, in general. I ask, how can respect be given to a man who has no respect? How can a people follow, when their leader does not? A message must be sent out loud and clear: These actions are unacceptable in any society.
I ask that the justice departments both territorial and federal investigate the chief’s actions in Alaska to see if charges can be laid in Yukon/Canada. We charge pedophiles who commit crimes abroad, do we not?
This girl has been and will be affected her entire life and she resides here, not in the USA. It is an attack on all women. I can assure you it has affected and touched every woman who has read or heard of the situation. What has been done in this regard?
I believe that the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board and the Yukon Human Rights Commission/Canadian Human Rights Commission as well should investigate the chief and the band for violations of charters. I bring forward the following:
1) Chief Eddie Skookum is an employer, in a position of power and a band representative.
2) The band is incorporated, no?
3) Was he on band business in Haines, Alaska, i.e did the band pay for the room(s)/meals?
4) Is he not, and are they not, obliged to follow Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board charters?
5) Have his actions not created a hostile work environment for others who work under him?
6) The chief has, by his actions, violated this girl’s rights. What are the Yukon Human Rights Commission or the Canadian Human Rights Commission doing to protect her? And others?
Louis R. Gagnon