Arlene Hache hails United Nations decision for Behchoko woman
Friday, May 4, 2012 - 5:01 PM
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Arlene Hache is hailing a recent United Nations decision in the case of a Behchoko woman as a victory.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women has ruled Cecilia Kell's rights were violated.
Hache said when they first read the decision, they didn't realize it had gone in Kell's favour.
“We both cried,” she said. “It was a 15-year-long odyssey.”
In the 1990s, without Kell's knowledge, her abusive partner requested the NWT Housing Corporation take her name off the lease of the home they owned together.
Later, Kell was forced out of home by her partner and launched legal challenges in the NWT court system to regain her home.
Kell was represented by numerous different legal aid lawyers and her case was eventually dismissed.
Hache said it wasn't because she didn't have a case, but because the court said she hadn't pursued it.
“Who pursues court cases? That’s a lawyer’s job,” she said. “That’s not aboriginal women in small communities.”
Hache said their next step is to request a meeting with the GNWT to confirm whether or not they are going to accept the recommendations.
Speaking this past Wednesday, Premier Bob McLeod said he hadn't seen the recommendations yet but that the government does take these kinds of recommendations very seriously.
The committee recommended, among other things, that Kell be compensated monetarily and given a new house comparable to the one she lost.
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