Eliza Charlotte Stewart described the murder, and played a recording from her sister Inez Beryl Spencer, who personally witnessed the attack on their sister Victoria that caused her death.
Victoria, age nine, was struck on the head with a wooden two by four by a residential school staff member named Ann Knizky. Victoria died the next day.
"First I was hit on the back, and then Miss Knizky hit Vicky because she wasn't coming into school fast enough. She fell down some stairs" said Inez in her statement.
"That night Vicky started complaining about head aches and she died the next day in the Camsell hospital. Miss Knizky never was tried for killing her."
Eliza Stewart commented,
"Vicky was shipped back to us in a burlap sack and her brain was missing, so we think they did an autopsy and removed her brain to hide the injury done to it. They never told us anything. And the church then claimed she died of TB, but she never had it."
Eliza Stewart and her brother Moses called upon the United Church to identify the whereabouts of Ann Knizky so that she can be charged with murder, along with the church itself.
"They're not off the hook, just 'cause it happened years ago" said Moses Stewart.
"Even if Miss Knizky is dead, we want the United Church to stand trial too for how they covered this all up and protected a murderer."
The Stewart family will be issuing a formal Letter of Demand to the United Church of Canada and its officers this week, which will require them to surrender Ann Knizky and identify her accomplices, publicly admit its responsibility for the murder, erect a memorial for Victoria, and compensate the family for her loss.
The Stewarts will also be calling on the police to open a criminal investigation into Victoria's death.
The press conference was sparsely attended. Of sixteen media outlets contacted, only two reporters were present. Among the absent media was the so-called "Aboriginal Peoples' Television Network" (APTN).
In a final statement approved by the Stewarts, Kevin Annett of The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared said,
"Thousands of children died in this manner in the Indian Residential Schools, and not one person in Canada has ever been charged for the death of a child there, or brought to trial. The government is even forbidding names of perpetrators to be named. We will not allow these churches to get away with murder. We call upon others to come forward and name those responsible for the death and torture of innocent children in the residential schools."
Further updates will follow once the police and United Church respond to the Stewarts, or fail to.
(A longer story along with pictures and video recordings of the event will be posted later this week on the website: www.hiddenfromhistory.org).
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