OTTAWA, Dec. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - On the National Day of Remembrance and
Action on Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day, First
Nation leaders from across Canada continue to advance plans to seek
justice and end violence against Indigenous women.
"A number of priority issues were deliberated this week by Chiefs in
Assembly, and ending violence remains the constant bottom-line for our
people," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "We are here fighting for
the rights of our peoples back home in our communities - inherent
rights and human rights - for they are the ones who suffer daily to
meet the basic standards of life, and this too often includes the
struggle to achieve safety and security. We cannot lose any more of
our sisters, mothers or daughters to violence. We need action at every
level and the leadership is prepared to empower, support and encourage
this action to achieve justice and end violence."
Planning for a national forum and strategizing on action and advocacy
efforts aimed at ending violence against Indigenous women was the focus
of just one of this week's many strategy sessions for Chiefs and
Assembly delegates. Native Women Association of Canada President
Michele Audette, along with AFN National Women's Council Member Adeline
Webber and Families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women
participated in thoughtful discussion and dialogue to support existing
and new advocacy efforts for a National Commission of Inquiry on
Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women.
"We are united in our calls for the federal government, provinces and
territories to commit to working with us and other First Nation,
Aboriginal and women's organizations on a National Public Commission of
Inquiry that will seek and find the answers to prevent and end violence
against women, regardless of where we live," said Native Women's
Association of Canada President Michele Audette.
Yesterday Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas from Tobique First Nation in
New Brunswick proposed an inquiry in the upper chamber on the "status,
impact and effectiveness of the government's response to date" in
regard to the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.
"This is an important message from the Senate, and a welcomed one," said
National Chief Atleo. "We will continue to press for an independent
National Public Commission of Inquiry that will address root causes of
violence and vulnerability and focus on action, awareness and
The call for an independent National Public Commission of Inquiry has
been strongly made by First Nation leadership over many years, and was
reiterated in July at the AFN Annual General Assembly in Toronto where
Chiefs in Assembly reinforced the need for such an Inquiry to include
hearings, a review of police policies and procedures in regard to
searches, investigations and communication between police, officials
and families, and the examination of the socio-cultural and
socio-economic risk factors associated with Indigenous women and girls.
With help from CUPE National, AFN launched a postcard and social media
campaign in October encouraging Indigenous peoples and all Canadians to
support calls for National Public Commission of Inquiry and make a
personal declaration to live without violence. For more information
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
also known informally as White Ribbon Day is commemorated in Canada every December 6, the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter at @AFN_Updates
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
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