This particular story hit a little too close to home …
I received this message through the Ya-Native’s Linkedin Profile.
Sent on November 5, 2012.
From: Frank Helen (profile name)
Need help with indigenous human rights abuse of elders
We have been attacked by the Chilliwack social services system, for the past few years now and we need assistance in many ways. We have been evicted from the Chilliwack Welfare office since March 10, 2010, and now we have to deal with the Chilliwack Salvation Army of which we cannot get any help from too. For the past two years now, we have been without a heating system, as our furnace broke down. Its been very cold. This past winter because of no heat, our kitchen has now been torn out. The water pipes have broken down, in the kitchen, and caused black mold, in our kitchen area and under our house. This in turn has caused us to get severly sick, and we are unable to get any help from anyone. WE also had to deal with huge rats, living in our living space, this past summer. We had trapped 13 rats, all together. These rats also had eaten up most of our food, in our kitchen. This in turn, is the result of our getting sick from starvation and being malnourished.
There are three of us living in this home. Our daughter who is our only care giver, was also denied social assistance for over five years. So, we all had to live on a $900.00 disability assistance, after all our bills are paid. Our daughter was finally put on social assistance this past few months, but even her financial needs are now being threatened to be taken away. This was one of the reasons why we were evicted from the Chilliwack welfare office.
The other reason why we were evicted, was because I am severely disabled and a parapalegic, according to my doctor. I really needed a new electric scooter, to help me to get around, and we tried to ask the welfare system to help me to get one. Even with all the prescriptions from our doctor, I was still denied a new electric scooter. Our disability came from a bad car accident that was enforced by the RCMP police of BC. WE were rammed and forced off the road between Cache Creek and Clinton B.C. This car accident left me dead for a half hour and than I went into a comma for six weeks, in the Kamloops hospital. I was paralized from the neck down, for such a long time after. Today, I still cannot get an electric scooter from the social services system. And so, I have to use up what disability assistance we have, to buy used electric scooters from Craigslist. Now I have about 7 or so, broken down scooters, laying in and around my house. This in turn has made us starve, to many times, over and over. as I have to use my food monies to buy used electric scooters.
Since we moved out to Harrison Hot Springs, from Vancouver BC, over 10 years ago, we have been under attack by the Chilliwack Royal Canadian Mounted Police also. They have taken away about five or so, vehicles away from us, and given us huge amounts of traffic violations tickets. We also had to take one of their officers to court, Constable Emond, for beating us up, on the highway. this constable dragged me off of my electric scooter, and threw me down on the ground, and kneed me on my back, and I was very sore for such a long time after. Before this happened, they had taken my husband away in another police car, after they had used the ‘sleeper’ arm hold, around his neck. Just about breaking his neck. Today his neck is still very, very sore and painful. When they took him away, I did not see him, sitting up, in the back of the police car. I thought they had killed him. I did not see my husband for a few days after that incident. I phoned the Chilliwack police station, and the hospital, and who ever I could, to try and find him. The police station said they did not have anyone with his name in custody, at all. He was never taken to the police station. What lies. Later on when I found my husband, he said he was in the chilliwack police station. As he was out and unconcious, the police had to call in the ambulance paramedics, to help the police to revive my husband, as they did not know if he was dead. After they used the arm hold on him. This is only part of the horrific life we have to put up with, living out here in Harrison Hot Springs BC.
Now, Friday November 2, 2012, just a day before my 59th birthday, we were pulled over once again, by the Chilliwack RCMP. The police officer came to my window, as I am the driver. I asked him what the problem was. He said ‘oh, we stopped you because I thought your insurance was expired’. which it was not. I still had one more month of insurance. So they had no business stopping us, what so ever. I have a legitimate drivers license and our van was legally insured, and so I consider this as harrassment, intimidation, discrimination racism, and racial profiling of us, as indigenous peoples. His partner, was walking around our van, to see if there was any kind of infractions, if he could find one. There was none. Yet, they gave us a violation ticket of $138.00, of which we have a month to pay. If we don’t pay we cannot renew our van insurance. This violation ticket was because we did not have a right address on our insurance papers.
With this, we are already having a hard time, with no food in our house, no running water in our kitchen, no heating system in our home, and no one will help us to fix our dire situation. Now we have the $138.00 violation ticket to pay off, on top of all the other bad situations we have to live with. This will cause us to go on another starvation diet, as we are too old to keep doing this over and over.
Today, I am feeling very depressed and scared to go out of my house, or to even take a drive in my van. I feel that we are under attack, by the Chilliwack Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Welfare system and the Salvation army. Last night, just before dark, a police car drove past our house, slowly, and was looking in at me. As my chair is right in front of the window. Terrorizing me, with their tactics.
I know, we have rights, and those rights are being violated. Our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are being violated. Our International Indigenous Human Rights are being violated. Our right to live freely, without intimidation and harrassment, racism and discrimination, is making me feel, we have no rights what so ever. All our life, this is how we have been treated, and we have evidence and tons of paperwork of our past, which is proof enough, that we are under attack, by the RCMP, the welfare systems and social services systems.
With this I am sending this letter out to all my contacts, and I hope that you can resend it to all your contacts also. We need help in every way possible. We are human beings, we are not animals. I have noticed the dogs have better care, than we do, from the SPCA. Animals have more rights than we do as human beings. Please help us.
Our contact address is: Frank Martin, Telquaa,Helen Michell. PO Box 806, 307 McPherson RD. Harrison Hot Springs B.C. Canada. V0M 1K0. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our home phone number is 604 796 9191. Thank you all.
… The picture is from a different reserve … I am awaiting a responses for more details.