Ontario Regional Chief Offers Condolences and Calls for Justice to Address Genocide against Indigenous Women

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Grand Chief Hare
Grand Chief Hare

Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare Offers Condolences to Families of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, and Calls for Justice to Address Genocide against Indigenous Women across Canada

Algonquin Territory, Ottawa, Ontario – Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare issued the following statement offering condolences to the families of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman), and calling for justice to address ongoing genocide against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit and gender-diverse people across Canada:

“On behalf of the Chiefs in Ontario, I offer condolences and prayers to the families of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and the unidentified woman, Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman),” said Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare. “It is with great sadness to hear of the murders of our sisters in the city of Winnipeg. We stand in solidarity with the families and communities of these women and all families and communities of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit and gender-diverse people.”

“It has been over two years since the release of Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The Final Report included 231 Calls for Justice, each directed at the federal, provincial and Indigenous government levels, aimed at ending genocide and improving the quality of life of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit and gender-diverse people. The Calls for Justice include concrete actions that can address root causes of violence and discrimination that have been maintained by colonial government policies that specifically targets women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.”

For instance, there are MMIWG Calls for Justice that direct police services to build respectful working relationships with Indigenous Peoples by respecting the people they are serving; put in place protocols to ensure that all MMIWG2S cases are thoroughly investigated and better coordinated; and implement processes to investigate failures to investigate or discriminatory practices and mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples.

“For decades, families have outlined the necessary resources, support and direct investments that are urgently needed to address genocide against Indigenous women and girls; but yet, years later, there has been no concrete commitment or funds released. The need to address this issue extends far beyond offering false promises, lack of action, and missed opportunities.

Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe deserve better. Their families and communities deserve transparency, accountability and most of all, closure. If the Winnipeg Police Service believes the remains of two of the women who were murdered are located at Prairie Green Landfill, it must be searched immediately without delay. The Winnipeg Police Service has a duty and responsibility to ensure the bodies of these women are returned home. Further, the Government of Canada must provide immediate funding and resources to effectively search for the remains of these women and take concrete action to end genocide against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit and gender-diverse peoples.

All levels of government, police services, leaders, and communities, have a responsibility to take action and end genocide and gender-based violence. The colonial systems put in place have allowed situations like this to happen for far too long. Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit and gender-diverse peoples are the center of our communities; they must be respected, honoured and provided safe spaces to flourish.

Today, we send our prayers to Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and the unidentified woman, Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman) and their families. These women cannot be forgotten. I encourage everyone to participate in a moment of silence in honour of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and the unidentified woman, Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman).”

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