Marlene Carter still remains in seclusion at the Brockville Mental Health Centre Forensic Treatment Unit after close to 4 months. Where in the future will there be light for her? When she is finally freed from her torture chamber, it will have to be done with care and in great consideration of the damage/trauma the months in seclusion have done to Marlene’s mind.
I hope she will be treated with gentleness and patience by staff as she slowly reintegrates into the routine of the hospital.
How can you help? Two ways. First, for those in or near Ottawa, there will be a march and rally on Friday, February 26. We will gather at Westgate Mall at 9:15 a.m. At precisely 9:30 a.m. we will march to the Royal Ottawa Hospital, where George Weber works, the man who calls all the shots on how and where Marlene Carter is treated while she is in Ontario. Weber is President and CEO of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (the Brockville Mental Health Centre where Marlene is being held in seclusion is part of this Group). At 10 a.m. the rally will begin. Click here for the FB Event. We call on all supporters who can make it to join us for drumming, songs, speeches, flag and placard waving, and all around support for an Anishinabe Kwe (Onion Lake Cree Nation, SK) who has suffered for too long in our homeland. Make a commitment to be there. Keep it! Spread the word!
Second, everyone and anyone can write a letter. I am suggesting a letter-writing campaign beginning February 19. Write your letters now (samples to follow soon). Then flood Weber with volley after volley starting February 19. Please document your outrage! If you care about Marlene Carter, then please take the time to condemn what is happening to her.
Write to George Weber and cc his boss, Ralph Goodale. The Honourable Ralph Goodale is the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in Trudeau’s Liberal government. Correctional Services Canada falls under this Ministry. And part of Minister Goodale’s Mandate is: “Work with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to address gaps in services to Indigenous Peoples and those with mental illness throughout the criminal justice system.” The abuse that Marlene, a mentally ill Indigenous woman, is experiencing is certainly a gap in service within the criminal justice system! Goodale and the Minister of Justice (Jody Wilson-Raybould) and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (Carolyn Bennett) must address this situation! Therefore, please cc Wilson-Raybould and Bennett, too.
George Weber, President and CEO of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honourable Ralph Goodale: email@example.com
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett: email@example.com
Let them have it with both the emotional and spiritual barrels. Enough is enough!
Keep the Circle Strong,
NOTE: Click here for background information on Marlene’s case. Sample letters will be posted soon. Have your letter ready to send by 19 Feb!
George Weber, President, CEO Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, 1145 Carling Ave. OTT ON K1Z 7K4
The Right Honourable Ralph Goodale
The Right Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
The Right Honourable Carolyn Bennett
February 16, 2016
Hello, my name is Mary- J. Beavers. I hope this letter finds you all in the best of health and spirit.
I am a registered Social Service Worker specializing in trauma informed harm reduction work/research and currently work as an Educational Assistant with Ottawa Carleton District School Board and as a private research consultant in the areas of Human Rights, EVAAW, Social and Mental Health and Addictions, North American/Canadian Aboriginal Studies.
We the public are seeking your urgent attention and response with immediate actions to commence with a plan for the release-transfer of Marlene Carter, who is being held in the Brockville Mental Health Psychiatric Forensic Unit in Brockville Ontario to a supportive living facility in the province of Saskatchewan, on the basis of humane and compassionate grounds.
Without citations of journals and historical documents we can all agree to the well documented historic and contemporary systematic abuses, appropriation of First Nations Peoples’ human, social, cultural, civil, environmental right’s and resources by various forms of imperial/ state/ government sanctioned oppression. We know this has been a mandate for more than 150 years of military styled occupation by British Crown- Canadian governments. I can’t comment about Marlene Carter’s life circumstances that find her in the present state of need for this level of advocacy. I do feel confident after studying her case carefully and at length that much of the circumstances and treatment she has received while incarcerated are a direct result of inherent social patterns of gross injustice and mistreatment of all First Nations generally by all acting state agents. This in combination with her personal traumas negative/abusive experiences with a succession of Police Services agents, Corrections Canada staff, and Criminal Justice’s Ministry institutions’ practices has resulted in her incurring major head/brain injuries and being held in solitary confinement perpetuates an ongoing life threatening mental health crisis for her.
As educated professionals, we are similarly aware of the historic-contemporary practices of the state’s pathologising and criminalization of First Nations people. We can agree that First Nations are in fact the victims of ‘state sanctioned’ campaigns of colonization through forms of extreme structural oppression coupled with systemic institutional abuses within the education, social and child and family welfare, criminal justice systems. We know the strategy has been to rely on the industrial CFS and psychiatric medical complex’s plethora of questionable approaches to justify state/rates of oppression by means of disproportionate deliberate apprehension/incarcerations.
This knowledge we share, begs your immediate action for an intervention in this specific case. (Kindly refer to RCAP’s findings-recommendations, Gladue Rights, and more recently the TRC’s findings additionally “Decolonizing Trauma Work; Indigenous Stories and Strategies” (2014) by Dr. Renee Linklater that I did research guidance- editing work on for your background review). The fact that Marlene’s situation requires public outcry- outrage against the current treatment she is receiving by the state’s ministries of Health, Justice, and Public Safety, Criminal Justice adjudicators is a bitter example of the latter points of the long term cumulative impacts-effects of colonial practices on just one Cree First Nation woman’s life.
Marlene has a right to safe and equitable standards of mental health care practices as a person who is suffering poor health and mental un-wellness. Marlene deserves to be released from maximum security solitary confinement’s isolation unit in Brockville. Marlene requires consistent contact with the world, community and her family together with the appropriate forms of therapy and social interactions. Marlene has a right to meaningful, comprehensive-supportive therapeutic environments with culturally based program supports for stabilization and recovery. Marlene Carter’s Human Rights dictate that she is entitled to culturally appropriate, humane treatment under the law and deserves your intervention of the highest order now.
Please use your discretionary powers and order her release immediately to prevent her suffering any further risk or harm. Thank you in advance for your attention and action on this urgent matter.
We the public, Marlene’s advocates and allies supporters look forward to your decisive and timely action in her favour.
Mary J Beavers
A big ‘Thank You’ for your most welcome correspondence. I am very impressed and deeply moved. You touch on many areas that mirror my own insights into Marlene Carter’s life and the abuses occurring in it at this time. If it is OK with you, I may request that you speak and share your opinions to Marlene’s supporters at some point in the near future.
At each visit with Marlene, I reassure her that she is loved by thousands of people. Thank you for being one of them.
All the best,
Hi Missy, Thank you so much for such a well balanced and well articulate piece of writing. Relationship is healing, as is love and compassion, something Marlene is obviously not receiving when she is segregated from others and being “nursed” by people who are afraid of her. A good thing they aren’t firefighters or they would never enter a burning house! Or a police officer, they would never get out of their squad car!
It is so sad that Marlene has had little or no access to smudging, fresh air, private counsel from the Elder.
I hope to meet you at the rally.
Wishing you peace in your day,
Pingback: Press Release: Protesters will March to Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre to Call For End of Solitary Confinement of Mentally-Ill First Nations Woman | Albert Dumont
Youtube Video Marlene Carter
This is a gift to Marlene…truly inspired by the Creator’s spirit…thank you Karen…
Go raibh maith agat (Thank you from heart- Irish Gaelic). In solidarity with a good mind.
You are a wonderful artist and a bard ! Thank- you so much for sharing and for using your vision, heart, art, rhymes to call out the unjust society that is the crime against Marlene and others humanity!
Smoke and prayers for Justice for Marlene Carter and all victims of Canada’s state sanctioned social civil rights violations abrogations of Indigenous, POC, Differently Abled