OTTAWA, Oct. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - On the national day of action to end violence among and against Indigenous peoples, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo further urged Canada to commit to a National Public Commission of Inquiry on violence against Indigenous women and girls.
"Sadly, violence against and among Indigenous peoples, particularly women and girls is not new. This violence will not go away without clear commitment and concrete action," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "We need action to achieve safety for all Indigenous peoples. It starts with working closely with the families of missing and murdered women and looking at the root causes of why so many Indigenous women and girls become victims to violence. A National Public Commission of Inquiry would help set out plans for moving forward, inclusive and reflective of Indigenous women, First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities and direct experiences of the families of missing and murdered women."
In July 2012, First Nation leaders from across Canada passed a resolution reiterating the need for a National Public Commission of 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.
More specifically, a National Public Commission of Inquiry on violence against Indigenous women and girls could:
- ensure an open and transparent examination of the socio-economic, political and historical factors that lead to increased vulnerability;
- examine police practices and protocols with regards to investigations in incidences where Indigenous women are reported missing, communications with families and among and between jurisdictions;
- build on and examine the substantial - and sadly often unimplemented - recommendations made in previous commissions, inquiries, reports and task forces (such as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Manitoba Justice Inquiry , National Aboriginal Women's Summits, etc.) with a focus on identifying critical barriers to their implementation and strategies to overcome these;
- examine supports, experiences and strategies in urban centres;
- provide special focus on the North and the unique perspectives and experiences of Northern First Nations and Inuit communities;
- review innovative practices and community-based supports in preventing violence and achieving reconciliation.
"Striking an independent and inclusive National Public Commission of Inquiry would demonstrate a clear and focused commitment to achieve positive change for and with Indigenous peoples in this country, and I continue to strongly urge the Prime Minister and Government of Canada to work together with First Nations, the families of murdered and missing women, women's organizations and other Indigenous groups to end violence now," said National Chief Atleo, adding that a clear and focused government commitment would also require identifying and dedicating resources to support the work.
Earlier this month AFN identified October 18 a national day of action to end violence against and among Indigenous peoples, launching a personal declaration and postcard campaign and encouraging community-based events across the regions. AFN is hosting a live webinar focused on approaches to ending violence today at 2pm ET. For webinar access and more information on how to act now to end violence visit www.afn.ca.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter at @AFN_Updates @AFN_Comms.
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
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