OTTAWA, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - As hundreds gathered in Vancouver for the 20th annual memorial march for missing and murdered women, Assembly of First
Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo acknowledged the
strength and resilience of the many families and friends directly
affected by this tragic issue.
"The Assembly of First Nations continues to urge the federal government
to work collaboratively with Indigenous and women's organizations on an
action plan focused on prevention and the safety and security of
Indigenous women," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "Today we
recognize the strength and resilience of the families, friends and
support networks of the far too many girls and women lost to violence.
At our Assembly last December, First Nation leaders from across the
country called for an independent public commission of inquiry into
missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. We emphasize again
today the need for such an inquiry."
AFN has presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the
Status of Women and has requested standing in the Missing Women
Commission of Inquiry which will examine the conduct of police
investigations of women reported missing from Vancouver's Downtown
Eastside between January 23, 1997 and February 5, 2002.
"The AFN will continue to act and advocate for the protection and safety
of First Nation women and children as a basic human right consistent
with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples," said National Chief Atleo. "Chiefs from across Canada have
made ending violence against women a key priority and we continue to
advocate for support for community-based initiatives that work for
First Nations such as Sisters in Spirit, a research, education and
policy initiative coordinated by the Native Women's Association of
Canada and driven and led by Aboriginal women. Unfortunately, this
initiative was dropped in the last federal budget. It must be
The annual women's memorial march, organized by women in Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside, began in 1991 with the intent to "come together to
grieve the loss of our beloved sisters, remember the women who are
still missing and dedicate ourselves to justice." On its 20th
anniversary, the Valentine's Day march expresses compassion and
community support for all women in the downtown eastside of Vancouver
and the Coast Salish territories and honours the lives of all missing
and murdered women. Organizers of the march hosted a series of public
awareness events earlier this month, including film screenings, art
exhibits and educational, poetry and music activities.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nation citizens in Canada.
SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer at 613-241-6789, ext 401, 613-314-8157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382, 613 292-0857 or email@example.com