Women from Alberta First Nation to hold rally after another sex assault charge laid against chief
In the wake of a new sex assault charge being laid against the chief of a First Nation north of Edmonton, a group calling itself the Alexander Women Warriors is planning to hold a rally to express outrage over the fact he still represents them.
“This is the second occurrence in which Kurt Burnstick has been charged with sexual assault of two Alexander women over the past six months,” the group said in a statement sent to Global News Tuesday.
In March, Global News received a statement from the Alexander First Nation saying it had issued a “complete and total media blackout” less than a week after Edmonton media outlets reported the First Nation’s chief, Kurt Burnstick, was charged with sexual assault.
On Tuesday, the Alexander Women Warriors also provided Global News with minutes from a Sept. 6 First Nation council meeting in which councillors voted to approve a motion repealing the “media blackout” regarding Burnstick’s legal matters.
In March, Morinville RCMP announced Burnstick had been charged with one count of sexual assault as a result of an investigation that began in December 2015. They said the victim was a woman the chief knows.
On Tuesday, Global News confirmed Burnstick is also charged with a second count of sexual assault as well as one count of break and enter with intent in connection with that investigation.
Burnstick’s first court appearance in connection with that charge is scheduled for Oct. 18 in Morinville.
Global News has also confirmed Burnstick has been charged with one count of sexual assault in connection with a different victim.
In that case, he is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 11 in St. Albert.
The Alexander Women Warriors said Burnstick has spoken publicly at the National Forum for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and that they “are deeply offended that he continues to represent our community at public forums.”
“We can no longer tolerate this hypocrisy,” the group said. “He makes a mockery of the issues that continue to harm indigenous women.”
The group also said the allegations against Burnstick have “divided” their community and left it without a “structured leadership.”
The group’s rally is being planned for Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Community Hall on the Alexander First Nation.
Alexander First Nation is about 40 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
Posted on September 14, 2016, in Indian Act Indians, Indigenous Women and tagged Alexander First Nation, Alexander Women Warriors, band council corruption, indian act band councils, Indian Act Indians, Kurt Burnstick, sexual assault. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.