OTTAWA – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde and Chair of the AFN Women’s Council Chief Denise Stonefish released the below statements in advance of the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women acknowledged globally November 25.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde:
“First Nations women are integral to the strength and success of our nations and the country. They form the foundations of our cultures, languages, laws and families and they represent the resilience and determination of our ancestors. Violence against First Nations women and girls in any form is completely unacceptable and must not be tolerated in Canada. Every person and every government has a role in ending gender-based violence and in building a country we can all be proud of, a country where every person is valued, safe and secure in their homes and communities. On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and every day, I urge all levels of government to work together with First Nations to achieve safety and security for First Nations women and girls and to end violence against all women. We can and must do better to ensure the women in our lives, our loved ones, our mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, nieces and cousins are respected and that their rights to safety and security are upheld.”
AFN Women’s Council Chair Chief Denise Stonefish:
“In 1945, the founding United Charter included a provision for equality between men and women. Since then, there have been many UN resolutions and conferences on women’s equality, the elimination of discrimination against women, women’s human rights and ending violence against women and girls. This is 2018 and Indigenous women and girls are still experiencing extensive abuse and violence. The United Nations should not be the only entity to make annual reminders on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. All must bring global attention to the continued advocacy and promotion of gender equality, empowerment and ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.”
This year’s UN theme for global action is “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”. Today launches 16 days of activism that will conclude on International Human Rights Day December 10, 2018. For more information visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/