Fort Albany Woman Has Human Rights Hearing

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:08 PM

A Fort Albany woman that says she was unfairly kicked out of the Sandy Lake First Nation is getting her day in front of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Angele Kamalatisit says she was living in the community with her common law partner for ten years when she was kicked out by the Chief and Council of the First Nation.

She feels the decision was based on her partners opinions about the band election results which he had unsuccessfully ran in.

Officials say she will have three witnesses including her partner Ringo Fiddler and her son Dylan, who are expected to testify this afternoon.

She is seeking a financial remedy for her pain and suffering.

A lawyer for the Canadian Human Rights Commission says if the First Nation is found to have infringed on her rights, in the future Sandy Lake should stop discriminatory practices and consider allowing Angele to visit and live in the community without prejudice. 

Lawyers for the Sandy Lake First Nation are still set to share their opening statement which could come tomorrow, they are arguing that the community had a policy that allows them to remove guests.

Kamalatisit says she knew as a guest she had no right to vote in band elections and adds she didn't care about the First Nation's politics since she had her own community to think about.

During her testimony at a human rights hearing, she broke down crying when talking about a Facebook thread that said the band council had the right to kick out, in polite terms trouble makers.

She says it angered her because they were picking on her family and she couldn't protect them.

It was shortly after she says that she and her son received letters from the council asking them to leave.

She feels that if there was a problem the band leadership should have spoke to her but they never did. 

Kamalatisit also testified that she was unable to return to the community for her partner's fathers funeral because she was told she would be arrested for trespassing.

She adds she is concerned for Ringo's Mother who is living in Sandy Lake First Nation alone.

The tribunal hearing is scheduled to wrap up at the Victoria Inn on Friday.