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Council of Canadians supports call for inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

The Council of Canadians supports the call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Dylan Penner #NoMoreStolenSisters

Last year, the Globe and Mail reported, “The Native Women’s Association of Canada has documented nearly 600 disappearances and deaths of aboriginal women and girls in Canada, with about 40 per cent of those cases occurring after 2000, and roughly half of the suspected murders still unsolved.” The newspaper has also noted, “There are reports that at least 800 native women have been murdered or gone missing since 1990. Since September, there have been eight aboriginal women who have been killed…”

The Harper government has refused to hold a national inquiry on this situation, and frustration over this is growing.

APTN reports, “The Mohawks of Tyendinaga have made the first move in their threat of direct action to force the prime minister to call a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women by putting up a blockade Sunday night. The Mohawks cut off Shannonville road just south of Hwy. 401 at about 8:30 p.m. according to Shawn Brant. …The area is about 20 minutes east of Belleville, Ont. and close to Mohawk territory. Both CN Rail and CP Rail run close together through the area.” The Two Row Times adds, “About 80-100 men gathered to erect a blockade at on Tyendinaga territory Sunday night at about 8:30 p.m. Sources told the Two Row Times that two large fires are going across the street and vehicles are parked, blocking Shannonville Road.”

“The Mohawk community of Tyendinaga are not the only ones crying out for a public inquiry into the tragic statistic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Earlier this month a delegation of the Native Women’s Association of Canada presented the federal government with a petition for an inquiry signed by a staggering 23,000 people.” The Assembly of First Nations, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association and numerous others groups also support the call for a national inquiry.

In 2012, the Council of Canadians added its support to the ‘Sisters In Spirit Vigils—A Movement for Social Change’ joint statement that highlights, “An inquiry would be a crucial step in implementing a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan.”

We mourn the loss of Loretta Saunders, an Inuk woman writing her thesis on missing and murdered aboriginal women, who was found murdered last week. Her thesis adviser writes, “Theft of land base, legalized segregation and racism, residential schools for several generations, continued dispossession = social chaos. It is a recipe for disaster for indigenous peoples, and especially indigenous women. …Loretta herself expressed the patterned, structured ways of colonial violence very clearly in her work… It is an organized terror of the everyday. And it must stop.”

And we encourage our supporters to attend the vigils being called for by Loretta’s sister that are to take place across the country this Wednesday. We will be at the vigil on Parliament Hill on March 5 at noon-hour.