NAN Women’s Council on Parliament Hill

419
Honouring Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women - Photo by Tannis Smith.
Honouring Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women - Photo by Tannis Smith.

The ceremony has moved from Victoria Island to Parliament Hill.
The ceremony has moved from Victoria Island to Parliament Hill.

Support for Murdered and Missing Royal Inquiry

OTTAWA – POLITICS – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and the NAN Women’s Council were joined by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, representatives of women’s organizations, First Nation and other political leaders at a press conference this morning on Parliament Hill to demand a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

“I am pleased to support the women of Nishnawbe Aski to honour our missing sisters and demand that the Government of Canada call a national public inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, who holds the women’s directorate portfolio. “We agree on the need for a national plan of action to prevent further violence against Aboriginal women, but it is critical that a national inquiry be held to fully determine the scope of these disappearances and provide accountability and justice for the families.

Honouring Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women - Photo by Tannis Smith.
Honouring Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women – Photo by Tannis Smith.

Beginning on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 11), the NAN Women’s Council has led a 24-hour ceremonial drumming, Honouring Our Missing Sisters: A 24-hour Sacred Gathering of Drums, on Victoria Island in the traditional territory of Kitigan Zibi. Drumming will continue on Parliament Hill all day Monday.

“For 24 hours we are honouring our missing sisters, and the sound of our drums will send a message to the Prime Minster that we will not rest until this government commits to an inquiry to fully investigate these disappearances,” said Jackie Fletcher, NAN Women’s Council spokesperson. “The homicide rate for our women and girls is shockingly higher than all other women in Canada, and it is shameful that our calls for action continue to fall on deaf ears when our sisters continue to be murdered and disappear without a trace.”

NAN Womens Council Gathering on Parliament Hill
NAN Womens Council Gathering on Parliament Hill

The Harper government is resisting renewed calls for an inquiry after it was revealed that the RCMP has compiled a total of 1,186 cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women, significantly more than previous estimates. Of those cases, 1,017 have been murdered, 169 are still missing, 61 were ruled accidental, and foul play was not ruled out in 108 cases.