John Fox of Wikwemikong First Nation, accompanied by several First Nations Grandmothers, spent this Mothers Day at Toronto Police headquarters. They went there to deliver a notice to Chief of Police Mark Saunders, expressing their concerns and demands over three years after Cheyenne Fox tumbled to her death off a 24th-floor condo balcony.
“For three long years we’ve waited for answers,” stated John Fox, Cheyenne’s father. “We've tried peaceful events, pursued answers through court, dialogued with police and participated in a pre-inquiry. In return we have been ignored, lied to, railroaded and mistreated with regards to any inquiries we've made with respect to my daughter and other missing and murdered Indigenous women and girl issues.”
Fox accuses the Toronto Police of withholding information regarding his daughters death and a lack of action with respect to investigating and charging the owner of the condo where Cheyenne met her untimely death. Instead, Fox insists, the police treat him like a criminal. The police have informed Fox that he will be “charged with trespassing” if he goes to any property associated with Cheyenne’s death, in effect baring him from performing a proper departing ceremony for his daughter as per Native tradition.
“Why is there a large police presence equipped with swat teams every time we do peaceful actions?,” Fox asked of Chief Saunders. “It bugs me I am labelled a 'known agitator' by your police force when in fact I am a highly respected peace keeper with no criminal record and a non substance abuser.”
Fox is asking for a response to the concerns outlined in his statement no later than May 23, 2016. Copies of this statement were also sent to Minister of Justice Jody Wilson Raybould and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Carole Bennett.
“As a father, I have had enough, we all have had enough,” ends Fox’s statement. “We have valid concerns, my family has one income and we have exhausted our finances on this issue when all along all we wanted was justice. We demand answers to why Native women are being murdered and/or missing on a consistent basis in this country.”