REGINA - The fight to free the Quewezance sisters went to the steps of the Saskatchewan legislature on Tuesday.
At the legislature was Dan Godbersen, Executive Director of Michel Callihou Nation Society, who was there in support of Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance who were serving 30-year sentences for the second-degree murder of Anthony Joseph Dolff in 1994.
Supporters of the sisters say they were wrongfully convicted. Godbersen was on hand at the Legislature hoping to meet with Minister of Justice and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre and present a petition calling for their release.
The petition collected over 57,000 signatures through Change.org, calling for the release of the Quewezance sisters.
Back on Nov. 24 in Question Period, when asked if she supported the federal review of the Quewezance matter, Minister Eyre replied “we are aware that there’s a federal review currently under way in this case, Mr. Speaker, and we must let that take its course. Of course these convictions were upheld at the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. And it would be inappropriate for me, Mr. Speaker, to comment further.”
The appearance at the Legislature coincided with bail hearings for the Quewezance sisters scheduled to begin in Yorkton that same day. Those are expected to run Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 17-18.
Godbersen had gotten involved in the case through Kim Beaudin, National Vice-Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal People. He said he was simply there to support the sisters.
“I’m hoping to address the Minister and hand off the symbolic 57,000-plus signatures for the petition to free Odelia and Nerissa, and bring awareness,” said Godbersen.
Godbersen expressed optimism about what might transpire in the bail hearing happening in Yorkton. He called their situation a “complete injustice” and added “it just goes to show the state of our justice system here within Saskatchewan.” He said things need to change “from the top down.”
“There’s too many Indigenous people slipping through the cracks,” said Godbersen, who said Indigenous people are totally over-represented in the system. “Changes need to happen.”