Marlene Carter, a First Nations woman (Cree, Onion Lake, SK) is still being held in seclusion at the Brockville Mental Health Centre Forensic Treatment Unit after being confined there in the autumn of last year.
Why is Marlene in seclusion for so long? Is it some kind of a monstrous act of revenge on Marlene by the Ministry of Labour for her assaults on nurses which incidentally began after she was subjected to electric shock treatments? Marlene warned at the time, “If you do that to me (ECT’s), I’ll bite you, kick you, punch you, I don’t want them.” Someone needs to investigate to what extent the Ministry of Labour is involved in Marlene’s care. Make no mistake, the Ministry is playing a role, a big one, in how a mentally ill First Nations woman is being treated in Ontario. When the hell did our healthcare system sink to that level? This is an outrage!
I have had the honour and privilege in the last year to get to know Marlene Carter, a human being I believe is the most spiritually strong and most spiritually beautiful woman I have ever known in my life. Marlene Carter is extraordinary in so many ways. She has survived where most, if not all of us, would not have. Marlene is like that little bird who had the misfortune to get lost in the eye of a storm and carried far, far away into a strange and frightening place (her mental illness). Balance for Marlene needs to be regained. It takes time. Her mind needs to adjust and recover from many years of abuse. Marlene Carter was scooped up by that storm not once but numerous times over the course of her tortuous life.
Marlene needs to get back to Saskatchewan where she’ll have the love and support of her family and community by her side to help her recover from over 7 years of being emotionally, psychologically and spiritually abused by Canada’s mental health system. The way she has been treated by a warped, spiritless system is NOT our way. Who in their right mind would think that the taking of a First Nations woman and placing her into seclusion, a tiny room 8’ x 10’ containing a cot and a sink/toilet for months on end is something of health to the human mind? Seclusion means no TV or radio, no shower privileges (she is given a sponge), no right to a smudging ceremony, no right to a private one-on-one counsel with her spiritual advisor (me), no right to spend even one precious minute outdoors. She is in that deplorable, wretched little room for 24 hours a day most if not all of the days of a week.
I am proposing a protest. A call to action. Let us gather in Brockville on Thursday, February 11, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. with placards in hand and rally outside the Brockville Mental Health Centre. Will you join me? I need to hear from you. The human rights of an Anishnabe Kwe are being abused. Are we going to do something about it? Yes or no? We need big numbers of people to show up for this protest. Let us know if you want to sign on. We’ll need cars to carry protestors to Brockville. We’ll need bristol board for placards. Contact Julie Comber at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to commit to this. If you are on Facebook, here is the event to RSVP: http://on.fb.me/1ZXzNOG
I’ll keep you all posted.
To learn more about Marlene’s case, please see: