Assembly of First Nations National Chief Atleo and Native Women's Association of Canada President Audette offer support to the Family of CJ Morningstar Fowler

OTTAWA, Dec. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo joined by Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould together with the Native Women's Association of Canada issued the following statement today on the discovery of the body of CJ Morningstar Fowler.

National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo: "I am profoundly saddened and offer my personal support and that of the Assembly of First Nations to the family of CJ Morningstar Fowler and her community. A death such as this touches us all and triggers overwhelmingly painful reminders experienced by hundreds of families who have lost loved ones to these horrific crimes. This past week, Chiefs-in-Assembly committed to strengthen and renew efforts to make sure all of our citizens are safe and to seek justice and accountability for those we have lost. Today, sadly, we add 16 year old CJ Morningstar to that list.

I urge anyone with information to come forward and help the family achieve closure and put their daughter to rest. I urge the Prime Minister to call a National Public Commission of Inquiry on violence against Indigenous women and girls. And I urge everyone to make this matter their utmost priority, to stop these heartbreaking losses in our communities."

British Columbia Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould added, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and community of CJ Morningstar Fowler at this terrible time. Far too many of our young people are dying in tragic circumstances. We can and must do better as a society so that others do not fall victim to the same tragedy of a system that ignores or treats differently those in society that are its most vulnerable."

President Michelle Audette expressed her support commenting that "The NWAC Board of Directors who are meeting in Ottawa today sends our deepest condolences to the family of Summer Star Elizabeth Krista Lee Fowler. Please know our hearts are with the family. Every day we are losing our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our women and girls. This has to stop! How can this government stay inactive on this urgent matter and how can Canadians turn a blind eye to this national tragedy?"

Barb Morin, British Columbia Native Women's President added that "this tragic news affects us all. We grieve with the family and community and together we reiterate the need for action - the need for a national inquiry is paramount."

The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow us on Twitter @AFN_Updates and @AFN_Comms.

SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or e-mail jyoung@afn.ca

Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-2920857 or email agaron@afn.ca