MONTRÉAL, Nov. 18, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - "With the many cases of missing persons reported at an alarming rate, a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is now, more than necessary. The federal government has chosen to stand in the way of an inquiry and prefers to keep its head in the sand" declared Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL and candidate for the leadership position of the Assembly of First Nations. "Faced with the uncompromised position of the federal government, First Nations might have no other choice but to initiate their own national inquiry" Mr. Picard continued, who, whether elected or not, intends to submit a proposal to this effect to the Chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations.
At the last AFN Annual Assembly held in Halifax last July, the AFN had adopted a unanimous resolution demanding that the federal government establish an inquiry. In spite of the alarming figure of more than 1,000 missing and murdered women, a national inquiry is still out of question for the Harper government and this is simply wrong.
"In spite of the repeated calls from AFN and several other Aboriginal organizations, the federal government remains inflexible. Its silence and its refusal to act are very worrisome and completely unacceptable "Ghislain Picard added. Provincial and territorial Prime Ministers had reiterated their support of such an inquiry at their last meeting of the Council of the Federation last August in Charlottetown.
Furthermore, several organizations across the country and of many popular movements already declared to be in support for a national inquiry. Countless walks, vigils, letters and declarations support what could be considered, the only legitimate response to this troubling situation which specifically affects Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
"The rights to safety and justice are fundamental rights and cannot be compromised when it comes to our Peoples. I invite all Canadians to join our cause and work with us. Together, we must pursue our efforts to denounce the situation and put pressure to shed light on this terrible tragedy. Our own national inquiry can be part to the solution. Indigenous women and girls, their families and our Nations deserve justice "concluded Ghislain Picard.
SOURCE: Ghislain Picard, Candidate for National Chief
For further information: Mélanie Vincent, [email protected], (418) 580-4442