Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women Remembered
OTTAWA – Across Canada on Friday Aboriginal people gathered to remember. There were over 177 Sisters in Spirit Vigils across Canada. A key point of disappointment remains with the federal government. The Prime Minister and the federal Conservatives have refused to hold a national inquiry into the murdered and missing Aboriginal women.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Women’s Council released the following statement today on National Day of Remembrance for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada and on a day when over 177 Sisters In Spirit Vigils are taking place across the country.
AFN Women’s Council Chair Therese Villeneuve attended the eighth Sisters In Spirit Vigil in Ottawa today on Parliament Hill:
The Assembly of First Nations National Women’s Council stands united in remembering and honouring the sisters that have been taken from us and we continue to press for justice and adequate support for their families.
We have gathered with the Sisters In Spirit Vigils for eight years – many of us have been gathering like this for decades – but our women and children keep facing high rates of violence. Today we honour those taken from us, and to offer respect and hope to their families. We gather to remind the public that there is an urgent need to protect our women and girls.
The AFN Women’s Council is deeply disappointed that despite clear evidence supporting the need for immediate action, the Government of Canada still refuses to conduct a National Public Commission of Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls and recently Prime Minister Harper has rejected the recommendations from the United Nations Human Rights Council to develop a national plan to end violence against women in Canada.
The AFN Women’s Council calls on the Government of Canada to work together with Indigenous women and organizations to develop and implement a National Action Plan to end violence. We are ready to do the hard work of creating change. We will not wait while our daughters, sisters, mothers and aunties continue to be victims of violence. We will not remain silent. We will continue to press at every level to achieve safety and security for Indigenous women and girls in this country.