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Statement in Solidarity with the Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

“One of the things that makes this National Inquiry unique is that we are not investigating a past wrong, but one that is still ongoing and that is getting worse. Acts of violence stemming from the structures of colonization and coupled with racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are not few and far between, but pervasive, immediate, and urgent. However, this violence is also preventable – if Canadians are willing to change.” 

Page 85 of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

We, the BC Women’s Executive Director Network, stand in solidarity and sorrow with the women, families, community members, Nations and advocates in Manitoba who have been irrevocably harmed by the racism and unfettered violence that has led to the loss of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Beatrice Harris, Marcedes Myran, and the yet to be named fourth victim. 

We have no doubt these women were targeted and brutalized because of their gender and Indigenous identities. 

Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people have the right to live a life free from violence on their own lands. Our country continues to violate this right through inadequate protection of Indigenous women and girls. 

The reality is that in Canada thousands of Indigenous women, girls and two spirit people have been murdered or have gone missing throughout this colonial country’s past and present. Another undeniable reality is that this violence consistently fails to garner adequate or sustained attention from governments and citizens. 

This lack of attention continues to have consequences. Inaction and indifference to the loss of Indigenous lives, particularly women, girls, and two spirit people, has created a world where Indigenous women are 4 times more likely to be murdered than all other women in Canada. This is simply unacceptable.

The recent events in Manitoba demonstrate that the government’s lack of action regarding the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2016 has enabled an environment where irreversible harms continue to be perpetrated against Indigenous peoples across the country. 

We call upon senior levels of government in Canada to take urgent and meaningful action on the calls for justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.  If not now, when?

Signatories:

365 Give 

AIDS Vancouver

Alex House

Ann Davis Transition Society

Battered Women Support Services

BC Victims of Homicide, a program of the BC Bereavement Helpline

BC Civil Liberties Association

BCEdAccess

BC Non-Profit Housing Association

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition

BC Psychological Association

BC Society of Transition Houses

Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland

Bloom Group

Cameray Child & Family Services

CityHive

Collingwood Neighbourhood House

Community Arts Council of Vancouver

CMHA North West Vancouver

CMHA Vernon 

Community Action Initiative

Community Connections Revelstoke Society

Dixon Transition Society

Dogwood

DreamRider Productions Society

Eastside Arts Society

Elizabeth Bagshaw Clinic

Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society

FarmFolk CityFolk Society

Fernie Citizens Housing Society

First United Church Community Ministry Society

Food Stash Foundation

Fresh Roots

Georgia Strait Alliance

Girls Action Foundation

Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness

Greater Victoria Housing Society

Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society

HUB Cycling  

Intrepid Theatre

Kettle Friendship Society

Living in Community

Looking Glass Foundation for Eating Disorders

M.O.S.A.I.C.

ONE TO ONE Literacy

Options for Sexual Health

Pacific Centre Family Services Association

Pacific Immigrant Resources Society

Pathways Serious Mental Illness Society

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation

Red Fox Healthy Living Society

Renfrew Collingwood Seniors Society

Richmond Food Bank Society

Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition

SHARE Family and Community Services

Sharing Farm Society

SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research)

Squamish Climate Action Network

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary 

The Network of Inner-City Community Services Society

Third Space Charity Society

Tuf Lov 

Vancouver Women’s Health Collective

Vancouver Writers Fest

Vantage Point

Victoria Women’s Transition House

Watari Counselling and Support Services

WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre

WISH Drop-In Centre Society

Wilderness Committee

Women Transforming Cities

Zero Ceiling Society of Canada

Media Contact:

Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director

Battered Women’s Support Services

Phone: (604) 808-0507

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