- A teachers’ convention in Calgary, Canada, canceled a presentation about addiction recovery from Richard Evans.
- Evans confessed to killing a sex worker in 2007 and spent seven years in prison.
- The convention originally stood by him, but has since revised its position, Alberta Teachers’ Association President Greg Jeffery said in a statement provided to INSIDER.
The Calgary City Teachers’ Convention canceled a presentation about addiction recovery from Andrew Evans, who was convicted of strangling an indigenous sex worker to death in 2007.
In a statement provided to INSIDER, Alberta Teachers’ Association President Greg Jeffery said it was wrong for the convention to host Evans and apologised to the family of Nicole Parisien, the indiginous woman Evans murdered.
“To the family of Nicole: We are sorry for the additional hurt this story has caused,” Jeffrey said. “I also want to express sincere regret for the impacts this story has had on survivors of sexual violence and on the family and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
News of Evans’ scheduled presentation at the convention, to be held on February 14 and 15, sparked a backlash among some teachers after someone on Reddit shared news of Evans’s criminal history. While Evans confessed and spent seven years in prison, some teachers thought it would be inappropriate to host him.
The Alberta Teachers Association originally defended the decision to give Evans a platform, arguing that “teachers are smart and thoughtful professionals capable of examining contentious issues and sensitive topics with critical thought.”
Jeffrey said his original decision was misplaced.
“The Association has long supported mental health initiatives in the school and community and recognises the devastating impact that addiction has on the lives of so many Albertans,” he said. “The decision was made to continue with the session in hopes that by sharing the story, future tragedies could be prevented. That decision was wrong.”
Jeffrey announced that the association would be making a $US5,000 donation (around $US3,750 in US dollars) to Stardale Women’s Group Inc. Foundation, an organisation that helps aboriginal women in Canada, in honour of Parisier.
“We are committed to reconciliation, learning from and supporting Indigenous peoples across this land. We want justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls,” he said. “I am sorry for this mistake. We are committed to reviewing practices so this does not happen again. We will do better.”
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