August 14, 2023
OPEN LETTER: Support for the CRCC Review of the C-IRG and Call to Immediately Disband the C-IRG
Dear Michelaine Lahaie, Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, Minister Farnworth, and Minister Mendicino,
We are writing with respect to Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Resolution 2023-23 “Support for the CRCC Review of the C-IRG and Call to Immediately Disband the C-IRG” which was presented, affirmed, and endorsed unanimously at the UBCIC Chiefs Council on June 8, 2023 (enclosure).
By Resolution 2023-23, the UBCIC Chiefs Council fully supports the CRCC review of the Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), but firmly believes that more needs to be done. The UBCIC Chiefs Council has made several calls to action directed towards the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC) Chairperson, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), BC, and Canada:
- The UBCIC Chiefs Council calls on the RCMP “E” Division to disband the Community-Industry Response Group while they are under review by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC).
- The UBCIC Chiefs Council calls on the CRCC Chairperson to expand the terms of reference for the review to include a broader public inquiry with more investigative powers, as was done under Section 45.66(1) of the RCMP Act for the CRCC’s investigation into similar incidents involved RCMP conduct at Elsipogtog, New Brunswick in 2013.
- The UBCIC Chiefs Council calls on BC, Canada and the RCMP to support a public inquiry and increase the investigative powers of the review commissions like the CRCC, ensuring that all laws and policies are in compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples Act, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as required by legislation.
The UBCIC Chiefs Council have determined that the systematic and continued harassment, excessive use of force, attack dogs, drones, violence, prosecution, surveillance, unlawful search and seizure, exclusion zones, arrests, assault, and detention due to the reprehensible and brutally violent actions by the C-IRG, a paramilitary force, is unlawful, unethical, and unacceptable on our unceded and traditional territories.
We look forward to your response.
On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Chief Don Tom
Chief Marilyn Slett
CC: UBCIC Chiefs Council