(PHOTO Harry Wilson (l) and Kevin Annett, 1997)
(August 9, 2012) Harry Wilson: 1953-2012
The first eyewitness to go public with his discovery of a dead adolescent at a United Church Indian residential school died yesterday in Vancouver.
Harry Wilson, 59, sustained massive head and brain injuries earlier this year from an undisclosed cause. He lapsed into a coma and never recovered.
In the spring of 1997, Wilson first spoke about tortures he endured as a child at the Alberni Indian residential school at a public forum organized by Kevin Annett and west coast elders.
He was subsequently threatened and assaulted by state-funded tribal council officials in Port Alberni for speaking in the media of his discovery of a dead native student at the United Church's Alberni residential school in the summer of 1967.
Nevertheless, Wilson went on to be a star witness at the historic IHRAAM Tribunal of June 1998, and was featured in the award-winning documentary film on Genocide in Canada, Unrepentant.