By: Genesee Keevil, Yukon News
Raymond Silverfox was not a drunk.
In fact, his cousin had never seen him drunk in all the years he knew him.
This is one of the reasons more than 100 people gathered in the -33 degree weather in front of the Salvation Army shelter on Thursday night.
The assembly of family, friends and supporters wanted to remember the 43 years of Silverfox’s life - not the last 13 hours before his death in police custody on December 2, 2008.
“He was a very caring, loving soul who never hurt anyone,” said his sister Debbie Silverfox.
“He treated everyone with respect and kindness.
By: Cathy Gulli with Patricia Treble, Macleans
Talk to people living in the North about why the violent crime rate is so high compared to the rest of Canada and you’ll hear about the “complex” or “unique” problems “up here.” But it’s not until you listen to Peter J. Harte, a lawyer in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, tell the unimaginable story of a young woman he knows that you can begin to understand what that means.
At 13, the girl was sexually abused by her brother. This only came to the attention of police when they questioned her about why she was trying to put her little sister into hiding. Her brother wound up in jail, and the teen was placed with a foster family in another community.
The Yukon RCMP has expressed shock and regret over the "insensitive and callous" treatment of Raymond Silverfox, who died after spending 13 hours in custody in 2008.
The 43-year-old First Nations man from Carmacks, Yukon, was subjected to ridicule and mockery from RCMP members during the final hours of his life in the Whitehorse detachment's drunk tank, where he was kept from 5 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2008.
A coroner's inquest into Silverfox's death heard that he had vomited 26 times in his cell during the 13 hours he was in custody, but officers and guards assumed he was simply drunk.