Assembly of First Nations Offers Condolences to Family and Community of Samantha Paul: Calls for Immediate Action to Ensure Safety and Security for Indigenous Women and Girls

OTTAWA, Aug. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief for Alberta Cameron Alexis today offered condolences to the family, friends and community of Samantha Jane Paul, a member of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Band in British Columbia who went missing in September 2013 and whose remains have now been found and identified as announced yesterday by Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Shane Gottfriedson.

"On behalf of the AFN Executive, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of Samantha Paul and all those whose lives were touched by her presence," said AFN Alberta Regional Chief Cameron Alexis, who oversees the portfolios of Justice and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women for the AFN.  "While our thoughts are first and foremost with Samantha's family and friends, this tragic incident is yet another stark reminder of the urgent need for action to ensure safety and security for all Indigenous women and girls.  We are calling for immediate action to prevent any further tragedies as well as a national public commission of inquiry to look into root causes and long-term efforts.  The federal government has offered no clear or defensible rationale for its refusal to establish an inquiry.  We know Canadians stand with us when we say that no other family, individual or community should have to experience this kind of loss."

The public is being asked for their assistance in providing any information they may have regarding Samantha Paul's disappearance last September.

Samantha Paul was the oldest of five children.  She returned to her home community when she was 18 years of age and would have turned 26 in December, 2013.

The Assembly of First Nations, First Nations organizations and many individuals and organizations across the country are calling for action and a national inquiry to address the more than 1,100 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.

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

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information:

Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext. 401; 613-314-8157 or jyoung@afn.ca

Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director 613-241-6789, ext. 200; 613-292-2787 or dkelly@afn.ca