‘Clean Up Your Own Backyard’

While Justice Murray Sinclair of the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ continues to lecture and guilt-trip Canadians for the perceived ‘sins’ of their ancestors, his wife has been accused of repeatedly bullying and intimidating both clients and staff at the aboriginal aid society {‘Native Women’s Transition Centre’} which she directs — a story that the mainstream media, and ‘CBC Aboriginal’, continue to ignore:ERBLCleanUpYourOwnBackyard800x800‘Judge’s wife placed on leave after complaints of toxic workplace’  

    “I was in an abusive relationship… I didn’t think I was going to be walking into something so similar to what I was in.”  

    “This is not residential school all over again.”

Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair and Justice Murray Sinclair“Almost 10 months after staff and clients of the ‘Native Women’s Transition Centre’ forwarded serious complaints about Executive Director Katherine Morrisseau Sinclair to the NDP government… an email from Board Chair Sherri Walsh, a well-known city lawyer, said that Sinclair is on leave from the organization as of…December 18th.  

“Sinclair is the wife of Manitoba Associate Chief Justice, and head of the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’, Murray Sinclair…  

“The meeting was called within a week of ‘Manitoba Workplace Safety’ being copied on a ‘Formal Grievance’ to the Board.  

    “… the majority of the Centre’s clinical and support staff either leave due to vicarious trauma, have tendered resignations or have been wrongfully terminated as a result of her bullying, verbal abuse, harassment and ‘laterally violent’ behaviors” it stated, asking “to be informed of the disposition of this grievance by December 18th”.

–‘Judge’s wife placed on leave after complaints of toxic workplace’,
Marty Gold, City Circus, December 24, 2015 

http://citycircus.ca/judges-wife-placed-on-leave-after-complaints-of-toxic-workplace/Native Women’s Transition Centre“The ‘Native Women’s Transition Centre Inc.’ is a long-time non-profit organization that operates 3 facilities for women in Winnipeg, including second-stage housing in the Lord Selkirk area and a halfway house for federal parolees in the west end…: 

    “Our Centre embraces Aboriginal traditional values and cultures in order to heal the ‘generational scars of colonialism and residential schools’. ‘Aboriginal healing methods’ are used to help women and their children achieve stability and initiate the process of healing. 

    “…  During their residency, women are encouraged to return to their ‘cultural roots’ to meet life’s challenges, build on personal gifts and strengths and grow and learn together as women – reclaiming their rightful place in the community.”

“One year ago today, a brave group of 11 women in the residence program wrote an extensive letter to the Board of Directors of NWTC, with itemized complaints from 5 of them, accompanied by a separately-submitted complaint. 

“The women were urgently pleading for help with the Executive Director, who had been chair of that Board immediately before assuming her new role, months before. 

“The residents, struggling to rebuild their lives and move on to raise their families, said they were threatened and intimidated, with grown women being treated like children.”  

“Enrolled in the NWTC program to recover from family violence, addictions and systematic abuse, the group referred to “unfair and aggressive treatment”, warning “we no longer feel this is a safe supportive environment”. 

    “We feel the new ED is aggressive in her style with bullying tactics and verbal abuse. She has belittled us as women, mothers and parents… are extremely controlled and made to feel as children.. we feel we have no rights and no say in anything (and) face strict consequences if we speak up.“ 

“After 3 pages detailing specific incidents, they made clear  

    “We are taking a chance on writing this letter due to the consequences that Katherine holds against us for speaking out…”

“They reiterated the Mission Statement and continued  

    “NWTC is not living up to this and something needs to be done.”

“The residents requested a review of their complaints and offered to meet with the Board personally. The women described experiences that were startlingly contrary to promises made by the non-profit about client rights…  

    “If nothing is done about this we will be forced to leave Native Women’s. We feel the ED shows no empathy or compassion towards our situation.”

“The Executive Director is Katherine Morrisseau Sinclair. 

“She is not some long-time social services minion who had risen from obscurity to helm the organization, but the wife of Associate Chief Justice of Manitoba, and ‘Truth and Reconciliation Report’ author, Justice Murray Sinclair…Photo - Paula Kirman“A month passed by, without any response from the NWTC Board of Directors.   

On January 26th, 2015, 4 of the group again wrote…:  

    “We just want to know if anyone cares about what we have to say or how we feel? …We came here voluntarily to get support and build up our self-esteem… Lately, we have all been feeling scared, intimidated, and controlled by Katherine.” 

“But the residents went even further, relaying to the Board the firing of loving, concerned staff “for speaking the truth”.   

“If they are forced to leave, the women pointedly said, it is because the Board “failed, failed to listen to us.  We did not lie in the first letter, everything in it is true”, they beseeched, invoking a disturbing comparison to historic mistreatment of aboriginals.  

    “This is not residential school all over again.” 

“The final complaint submitted was dated January 20th, 2015 and alleged a mother and her 2-year old were woken up one night to be interrogated by Sinclair, who was on a hunt for the ringleaders of the challenge to her rule: 

    “Then she started bugging me about the letter the residents wrote to the board members the first time.

    ‘Who wrote the letter? … I know you girls didn’t write it yourselves’ — “pretty much calling us dumb”… 

     “I said I didn’t know (and Sinclair said) ‘…I’m going to get to the bottom of this’. 

    “She had no other reason to come wake me up for questioning. I felt like she was picking on me and made me feel intimidated. I had a hard time putting my kids back to sleep…” 

“Finally, in a brief paragraph on the second page, she related an earlier, troubling encounter with Katherine Sinclair: 

    “She was asking me who my lawyers were so she can get checked out by her husband who is a judge…”

–‘Judge’s wife accused of bullying, intimidation, threats at aboriginal social agency’,
Marty Gold, City Circus, December 23, 2015  

http://citycircus.ca/judges-wife-accused-of-bullying-intimidation-threats-at-aboriginal-social-agency/Justice Murray SinclairFBAnd as if all this weren’t bad enough, Justice Sinclair himself got involved and put both he and his wife into a seeming conflict of interest, by recruiting some of his ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ employees to sit on his wife’s Board after many of the previous directors had quit: 

‘As Directors fled his wife’s social agency, Judge Murray Sinclair recruited replacements’  

“Constant and confusing turnover among the membership of the Board of Directors of the ‘Native Women’s Transition Centre Inc.’ might explain why complaints by residents — that they were being bullied and intimidated by Executive Director Katherine Morrisseau Sinclair — went unanswered for almost one year… 

“In a span of less than 2 years, 21 people we have identified as board members quit…  

“Last Christmas, residents beseeched the Board for help to deal with Sinclair’s reign as ED, referencing incidents not only towards clients but a toxic workplace where staff were fired “for speaking the truth”… 

“After Sinclair assumed the role of ED, sources say at least 3 employees left the agency and 9 are currently on stress leave; 7 of those finally met with the Board days before Sinclair going on leave on December 18 .  Only 2 clinical unit staff remained to provide programming to the residents. 

“…a ‘Facebook’ posting by Sinclair’s husband, Associate Chief Justice Murray Sinclair soliciting candidates to be on the board.  At least 3 people identified online as Truth and Reconciliation Commission employees under him, have been listed as board members. That made them theoretically responsible for his wife’s salary, expenses and actions.”   

–‘As Directors fled his wife’s social agency, Judge Murray Sinclair recruited replacements’,
Marty Gold, City Circus, December 29, 2015   

Main IMAGE: Canadian Press / CP

“A Bentwood Box, commissioned by the TRC, arrived at the Commission office in Ottawa, Ontario on April 27, 2009, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where it was steamed and bent from a single piece of red cedar. Carved by Coast Salish artist Luke Marston…” Katherine Morrisseau-SinclairMore on Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair: 

‘Lake Winnipeg should be ‘recognized as a person,’ says advocate’

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