CAP calls for release of wrongfully imprisoned Indigenous women
March 16, 2022 (OTTAWA) – Indigenous sisters Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance have spent nearly 30 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Despite a lack of physical evidence and testimony of Jason Keshane admitting responsibility for the murder of Anthony Joseph Dolff that landed him with a four-year sentence for second-degree murder, the two women remain behind bars with life sentences.
At a recent parole hearing for Odelia, a request was read into the record for a ‘geographical restriction’ that, if released on parole, Odelia would not be allowed to enter specific communities in treaty territory in Saskatchewan. The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) believe this would be a violation of Odelia’s mobility rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. False information about Dolff’s relationship with the Quewezance sisters, about his employment at St. Philip’s Residential School, and about the very existence of the school were also read into the record.
“It is dangerous precedent to allow disinformation of facts to be read into record when it can influence the parole board officials, who are trained from a colonial perspective and where there is no Indigenous representation in the parole process,” said CAP National Vice Chief, Kim Beaudin.
The parole hearing was unreasonably adjourned for two months, with no new confirmed date.
“Odelia and her sister have been through enough,” added Beaudin. “As CAP has called for in the past, they deserve a formal apology and their records expunged. It’s time that the Canadian government owns up to this miscarriage of justice.”
N. A. Porter & Associates has started a petition to the Prime Minister to free the Quewezance sisters. The petition has over 17,000 signatures. Find it here.
CAP once again joins other advocates in this call for the Government of Canada to release Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance immediately.
CAP National Vice Chief
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the national voice representing the interests of Métis, status and non-status Indians, and Southern Inuit Indigenous People living off-reserve. Today, over 80% of Indigenous people live off-reserve.