Aboriginal group says 'no thanks' to Brazeau's offer of help
Patrick Brazeau waits for the start of a royal assent ceremony in the Senate chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in this December 14, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/Files
A prominent aboriginal rights organization is saying thanks, but no thanks, to an offer of help from disgraced senator Patrick Brazeau.
"Victims and families deserve more than an accused abuser as an advocate," Deputy Grand Chief Denise Stonefish, of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI), said in a statement Wednesday.
Brazeau, 40, was charged with assault and sexual assault after police were called to his Gatineau, Que., home in February 2013 because of a domestic disturbance. It's the same home police were called to in April 2014, when he was charged with assaulting a woman.
He was suspended from the Senate in November 2013 after he was charged with fraud and breach of trust over his housing expenses.
Late last month, after posting an article on the website Loonie Politics calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, the @senatorbrazeau Twitter account posted: "Open to doing volunteer work on Aboriginal issues. Fed election coming up and FN issues need 2 B @ forefront."
The AIAI isn't interested.
"While I understand that Mr. Brazeau has a right to his day in court, and I believe in the rehabilitative nature of volunteer work, I find it seriously troubling that as an accused abuser he thinks it is appropriate to advocate for and work with victims and their families," Stonefish's statement said.
The AIAI is a provincial non-profit organization with a mandate to "defend and enhance the indigenous and treaty rights" of its members, which it says includes 20,000 First Nations citizens in Ontario.