Advocating for the Indigenous Residential School Survivors of Canada at
the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and Rome, Italy,
February, 2020

On February 18, 2020, I was part of a group of individuals representing the organizations
of Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA), Advocates for Clergy Trauma Survivors of Canada, St. Anne’s
Residential School Survivors Association, and the Argentinian Deaf Survivors of Provolone when
we attended at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva Switzerland. I am a founding member of
ECA, which is an international group from over 21 countries and 5 continents. I represented the
Indigenous survivors of residential schools in Canada.

We met with:
• Azin Tadjdini, Associate UN Human Rights Officer, Special Procedures Branch
• Brenda Vukovic, UN Human Rights Officer, Special Procedures Branch
• Nilis Melzer, representing the UN Committee Against Torture
• Allegra M. C. Franchetti, Secretary of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
• Catalina Davandas Agular representing the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with

As a survivor of St. Anne’s Indian Residential School, I filed proof of the horrific, widespread
sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of children at St. Anne’s. Proof of efforts by Indigenous
people to have the Ontario justice system address the child abuse, and proof of breach of the
Settlement Agreement by the Federal Government and lawyers. I was educating the UN
officials as to the past and ongoing violation of the legal and human rights of Indigenous people
in Canada. I explained that Indigenous children, under Federal Government law, were taken
from our parents starting around age 6 and forced to reside in 135+ residential schools run by
Christian missionaries for over 100 years. I explained that the policy was designed to “take the
Indian out of the Indian child”, and was a massive, ongoing violation of our human rights. I
explained that only recently, in 2006, the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement was
signed between Indigenous and Inuit peoples of Canada, and the Federal Government and
churches that ran the schools. The wrongful loss of our native language, cultural traditions and
beliefs, and our family structure/childhood were acknowledged by the Federal Government in
the Settlement Agreement of the national class actions.

I submitted the following documents as proof of the types of abuses inflicted on Indigenous
children in these residential schools such as St. Anne’s, as well as the ongoing violation of legal
rights of Indigenous persons in Canada by the Federal Government:
• sworn affidavit of Edmund Metatawabin dated August 26, 2013 and exhibits
• Statement of Claim of Evelyn Korkmaz, against the Canadian Government and Nelligan
O’Brien Payne
• the criminal trial transcripts of charges against Sister Anna Wesley regarding the abuses
she inflicted on children at St. Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany, Ontario, Canada.
• Two Superior Court decisions in 2014 and 2015, finding the Federal Government
breached the Settlement Agreement by not disclosing thousands of documents in the
possession of Department of Justice lawyers, about child abuse, violating the
requirements of the confidential civil dispute system.

These documents prove the existence Priests who were serial sexual abusers, a home-made
electric chair used on the children by church supervisors, the use of the cat-of-nine-tails whip
used on the children by Priests and Brothers. Children who were sick were beaten and forced to
eat their own vomit, when they threw up in the dining room. Children were raped and synced
with cigarette butts when they fell unconscious. All these methods constitute torture, and are
now and were previously against human rights laws. These torture methods where used for
many decades on children by the Bishops, priests, brother, nuns, and civilian supervisors, to
instill fear and ensure silence, particularly because children were being sexually abused.
Students who experienced sexual abuse from these adults, sometimes would practice what
they were taught on other smaller children. After living in these conditions at the residential
school for usually 8 years, some former students continued what they had been taught, so
dysfunction, known as intergenerational abuse, continued even after the residential school was
closed in 1976.

During this meeting with UN officials, I, Evelyn Korkmaz, gave my testimony of the gross
injustices of the crimes committed on me as a child at St. Anne’s Residential School. I revealed
that after I was raped, a nun stitched my wounds and she did nothing to protect me or report
these crimes. I stated St. Anne’s Residential School was run by Oblates Order of the Catholic
Church and Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, and it was funded by the Government of Canada. In my
testimony, I stated the Vatican and the Government of Canada are still, to this day, withholding
documents detailing the horrific crimes committed on children and the genocide committed on
the Indigenous children who attended these mandatory run residentials schools.

The Government of Canada has promised to reconcile with the Indigenous peoples of
Canada in the Settlement Agreement in 2006. Part of the Agreement established the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission, which held hearings across the country and established a Final
Report with 94 Calls to Action for the loss of our cultures, languages, traditions and spiritual
beliefs. So far, we have only heard more promises and not seen enough action. It is critical, that
the Government of Canada act on these 94 calls to action, to reconcile the wrongs done to the
First Peoples of Canada and to ensure enforcement of our human rights in the future.

On the afternoon of February 18th, I was one of the individuals from Ending Clergy Abuse,
Advocates for Clergy Trauma Survivors of Canada, St. Anne’s Residential School Survivors
Association, along with other clergy survivors’ groups. We met with Mr. Gerald Staberock,
Secretary-General of the World Organization Against Torture and Child Rights Connect, an
International NGO that supports children’s rights. Our intentions were to ask this World
Organization to work together with us, and add clergy sexual abuse to their agenda.

Again, I made an oral presentation, and I emailed the documents containing evidence of
the child abuses suffered by St. Anne’s survivors. I noted again that documents of this child
abuse were withheld by the Vatican’s Orders in Canada as well as the Government of Canada.

The Vatican has access to all the evidence given by Indigenous Canadians about the abuse
suffered in the Catholic-run residential schools, through its local church officials and their
lawyers. I stated the need to bring the Vatican to justice on the crimes committed by clergy on
the Indigenous children of Canada. I also stated that these crimes against children who
attended the residential schools throughout Canada have had a devastating inter-generational
effect on my people, such as causing alcoholism, substance abuse, family abuse, low self-esteem and low self-worth, etc. The Government residential school/institutionalization policy degraded and demoralized many generations of Indigenous people and the ongoing effects are evident.

On February 19, 2020 in Rome, Italy, Ending Clergy Abuse held a press conference at the
Palace of the Foreign Press. In 2018 when I traveled to Rome for the same purposes, the
international press had covered our efforts to be heard, when the Pope convened a conference
of Bishops to address clergy sexual abuse. I achieved significant coverage in many countries,
regarding the treatment of Indigenous people in Canada and the former residential school
system, which was practically unknown outside Canada.

This year, I spoke again and I addressed the crimes committed by the Vatican’s
representatives in Canada, against the Indigenous children of Canada. I explained the Vatican’s
need to acknowledge and address these very serious crimes against humanity. I stated that the
people who commit these crimes against the Indigenous children in Canada and against
children anywhere in the world, must be held accountable, the accountability must be
transparent and the crimes must be dealt with by the Vatican. There must be zero tolerance
within the church for sexual crimes against children. I pointed out that if we do not address
these issues, what message are we giving to our society. In my address I made it clear that I
believe that Pope Francis had lost his moral compass, by failing to take these steps, and to
ensure the protection of children against sexual abuse by clergy and church officials.
Protection of the children from sexual abuse, as a primary goal and teaching, must come from
the Vatican.

Most of the press coverage in 2019 was devoted to the Argentinian deaf students who
suffered sexual abuse in the Catholic school. The Pope is from Argentina.

On February 22, 2020, Ending Clergy Abuse, Advocates for Clergy Trauma Survivors of
Canada, Bishop Accountability, SNAP and other clergy sexual abuse survivors from the United
States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Jamaica, Germany, New Zealand and Spain held a Global
Twilight Vigil for Zero Tolerance in Rome at the Giardini di Castel Sant’Angelo.

Survivors, including myself, stepped up to voice our testimonies, and our deep concerns for
ensuring justice for the children of the world who continue to suffer sexual abuse by church
officials, without consequences to the abusers from the Church. I spoke of the great injustices
and genocide of St. Anne’s Residential School Survivors and the Indigenous peoples of Canada. I
stated the Vatican showed a lack of respect and dignity for people who are survivors of clergy
sexual abuse, which happens around the world. I stated that the Vatican and Pope Francis, are
not above the law. In my closing, I said I wanted Pope Francis to end child sexual abuse by
clergy and to act now.

Respectfully submitted, April 3 2020.
Evelyn (Edwards) Korkmaz
Fort Albany First Nation Member
St. Anne’s IRS Survivor

• Sister Anna Wesley’s criminal trial transcripts.
• Edmund Metatawabin affidavit dated August 2013
• Evelyn Korkmaz statement of claim.
• St. Anne’s RFD #1 in Ontario Superior Court, January 14, 2014
• St. Anne’s RFD #2 in Ontario Superior Court, June 23, 2015