Delores Stevenson recently met with top police brass, including chief Evan Bray, to discuss the outcome of an RCMP probe into the police's handling of her niece Nadine Machiskinic's death.
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Machiskinic, an Indigenous mother of four, was found severely injured in Regina's Delta Hotel and died in hospital in January 2015.
Stevenson said they discussed the review of the investigation, but did not get a chance to see the findings of the probe itself.
Sometimes people dont report out of embarrassment. It happens a lot with scams, especially involving say an elderly person, who doesnt want to look foolish, said Elizabeth Popowich, spokesperson for the RPS.
"We were actually told in the meeting that they wouldn't be sharing the findings with the family or the public, which was kind of my concern," she said Wednesday, the day after she met with police.
"When they talk about accountability I think that it means much more to be accountable to be able to show the accountability and not just simply say it."
The spokesperson said making the recommendations public was discussed during the meeting with Machiskinic's family and there is planning underway for a news conference, which has yet to be announced.
Stevenson delivered a small teepee to the front desk of the Saskatchewan Legislature Wednesday. This past summer, protestors erected teepees in Wascana Park and camped out, calling for justice for Indigenous people and reforms to the justice and social services systems.
"I still don't really have a whole lot of confidence considering the fact that it's not being made public or that they're not really revealing to the findings to myself or my family," Stevenson said.
"After going through what my family and I had to go through for two years to get where we're at I think that we deserve that much."
Stephanie Taylor is a reporter based in Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC News in Regina, she covered municipal politics in her hometown of Winnipeg and in Halifax. Reach her at [email protected]
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“We had discussions about the RCMP review that had been completed, but we didnt actually see the documentations or the findings of the review.”
Delores Stevenson, left, aunt of Nadine Machiskinic, leaves the Saskatchewan Legislative Building after speaking to reporters. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post
The family of a Regina woman who plunged to her death down a hotel laundry chute say they are disappointed after meeting with police to discuss results of the RCMPs review of the Regina Police Service (RPS) fatality investigation.
“We had discussions about the RCMP review that had been completed, but we didn’t actually see the documentations or the findings of the review,” said Delores Stevenson, the aunt of Nadine Machiskinic. The 29-year-old woman was found dead in Reginas downtown Delta Hotel in January 2015. The RPS has come under criticism for a number of delays and missteps in its investigation.
Stevenson, who delivered a small model teepee bearing her niece’s photo to the Legislative Building on Wednesday afternoon, said accountability means more than simply saying it — you actually have to show it.
According to an emailed statement from RPS spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich, making the recommendations public was discussed in the meeting, which took place Tuesday, and it “will happen, but not today.”
It is unclear whether or not the whole review will be made public or just the recommendations, but Popowich said a news conference is being organized by the RPS to speak to the issue.
How and how much we say will be up to the (police) chief, said Popowich. The review was not mandated by anyone; our chief approached the RCMP with his request, so it didnt come with a requirement — or promise — of making any of it public.
She added that the planning of a news conference demonstrates Chief Evan Bray’s “willingness and desire” to tell the public more, but how that looks will be up to him.
“I think after going through what my family and I had to go through for two years to get where we’re at, I think that we deserve that much,” said Stevenson about getting to see the review. “Civilian oversight is needed within our province.”
The Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism released an emailed statement expressing the family’s disappointment and pledging their support.
A miniature teepee, featuring an image Nadine Machiskinic, sits on a chair at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. The teepee was brought there by Delores Stevenson, Machiskinics aunt. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post
Delores Stevenson, aunt of Nadine Machiskinic, speaks to reporters at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post
The RCMPs review, like the original RPS investigation, illustrates the need for an independent oversight body of policing in Saskatchewan, said the statement.
Asked about the report earlier this fall, an RCMP spokesperson said it was for the RPS to release publicly or comment upon.
SCAR, along with Colonialism No More and the Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp say they “stand behind the family with a united voice calling for an independent citizen police review board that will hold the police in this province accountable.”
“I don’t really feel a sense of justice,” said Stevenson. I honestly question what justice is if at the end of the day we, myself as a family, still doesnt have answers.
She says her nieces case may be reopened if “additional and new evidence came to light.”
For now the family is focused on healing and they hope some of the issues that came to light during the coroner’s inquest will help create some change within the justice system.
“I brought a teepee with Nadine’s picture on it in memory of her and in memory of her children, in memory that she’s a mother, she’s a daughter, she’s a sister,” she said. “The teepee represents family… At the end of the day regardless of the outcome of how the system works, her memory lives on and I honour her memory.”