A human rights tribunal has sided with a woman who was banished from the northwestern Ontario reserve where she’d lived for a decade, saying she was evicted as retribution for her common-law partner’s ongoing dispute with the First Nation’s leadership.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled earlier this year that Sandy Lake First Nation denied Angele Kamalatisit’s right to housing based on her marital or family status.
It says the First Nation forced her and her son out of the community in 2012 in place of her partner, who could not be evicted because he, unlike her, was a band member.
Tribunal member George Ulyatt ordered that Sandy Lake First Nation allow Kamalatisit to return to the reserve, a fly-in community roughly 600 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont.
He also ordered the First Nation to pay Kamalatisit $20,000 plus interest for pain and suffering — the maximum penalty under the tribunal’s jurisdiction.
The case stems from a failed bid for band council by Kamalatisit’s partner, Ringo Fiddler, and his public disapproval of the chief and a councillor.
Ulyatt writes that Fiddler had been involved in an effort to oust the chief and councillor in 2012, and that leadership consequently pushed his partner out of the community despite her lack of involvement in the political unrest.
The lawyer representing Sandy Lake says her clients couldn’t be reached Monday.
The Canadian Press