Assembly of First Nations National Chief Marks National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, To Appear Before Special Parliamentary Committee

OTTAWA, Dec. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, together with AFN Alberta Regional Chief Cameron Alexis, will appear this evening before the Special Parliamentary Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women, established to propose solutions to the root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

"This committee can play a critical role in demanding that the federal government show real action and investments in the safety of Indigenous women and girls, some of the most vulnerable citizens in this country," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo, who is also meeting today with the Hon. Stephen Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.  "While I look forward to appearing before the committee, it must not be overlooked how essential it is for the committee to hear directly from the families, victims and support workers impacted at the community level.  AFN has been and will continue to press for this, and we understand the committee will hear from families next week."

AFN Regional Chief Cameron Alexis, who leads national efforts for the AFN in community safety and policing, said, "While we do not need another report or study to show the urgent need for action, our hope is that the recommendations of this committee will echo those of First Nations, including the call for a National Public Commission of Inquiry, as well as support for a First Nations driven national action plan to end violence."

In February of this year AFN acknowledged all-party support for the development of the Special Parliamentary Committee.  National Chief Atleo and AFN support the call for a National Public Commission of Inquiry and the National Chief has urged Parliament to be fully inclusive of the voices of Indigenous peoples in order to bring forward solutions and the action urgently needed to address violence and the root causes and conditions.

Tomorrow, December 6, will mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, recognizing the anniversary of the murders of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989.

"On a day that we remember and honour young women whose lives were tragically cut short by violence, we look to the future of our daughters with strengthened purpose to work together and take every opportunity to ensure all Indigenous women and girls are able to fulfill their hopes and dreams without fear of violence," said National Chief Atleo.

Community safety and policing will be a topic of discussion during the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly taking place at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau, QC December 10-12, 2013. For more information and an agenda of the AFN SCA visit http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/13-12-01_sca_draft_agenda.pdf.

For more information on First Nations efforts to end violence, including a draft National Action plan visit http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/policy-areas/i-pledge.-end-violence.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN 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
Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or agaron@afn.ca


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