March and Rally Demanding All Political Parties Make Accountability, Action and Justice for MMIWG a Priority
((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – October 20, 2019) Today the Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (“the Coalition”) will be gathering at Victory Square to march and rally for justice, action and accountability. On the eve of the federal election, the Coalition is sending a clear message to all political parties that regardless of whom forms government, the implementation of the MMIWG Calls for Justice is a priority.
Violence against Indigenous women and girls in British Columbia and throughout Canada is a devastating and ongoing critical issue. The disproportionately high number of murdered and disappeared Indigenous women and girls is an enduring crisis that requires immediate attention and action. The MMIWG National Inquiry has confirmed with the release of their final report and Calls for Justice that Canada’s past and present policies have perpetuated the tragic violence against Indigenous women and girls, and that this violence amounts to genocide.
The Coalition calls on all political parties to act on the 231 Calls for Justice and to treat them not as optional recommendations, but as legal imperatives. In order to heal from and end centuries of colonial violence, Canada must step up and respect Indigenous rights, values, and lives. We give notice that we expect a National Action Plan within 90 days of forming the next federal government.
The MMIWG Inquiry Final Report cannot gather dust. It is the bare minimum showing us the way forward. The time for respecting Indigenous women’s and girls’ human rights is now. The Coalition extends an open invitation to the public and all political parties to attend our rally and march. We will meet at Victory Square at 12:00 pm and march to Crab Park where we will have a dance performance by Butterflies in Spirit and hear from allies and community members. See below for full details.
Aboriginal Women’s Action Network
BC Assembly of First Nations
BC Civil Liberties Association
BC Federation of Labour
Battered Women and Support Services
Butterflies in Spirit
Carrier Sekani Family Services
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Ending Violence Association of BC
February 14th Women’s Memorial March
Melodie Casella, Family Member
Pacific Association of First Nations Women
The Poverty and Human Rights Centre
Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre Society
Vancouver Council of Women
West Coast LEAF
WISH Drop-In Centre Society
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518
The Coalition is a broad network of individuals, grassroots, and social justice organizations who have come together to address the ongoing crisis of murdered and disappeared Indigenous women and girls in BC and across Canada. The Coalition and its members have advocated long and hard for a thorough and meaningful inquiry into violence against Indigenous women and girls, one that would offer clear steps towards the structural change needed across Canada to finally end the systemic violence faced by Indigenous women and girls.
WHAT:A call to action – MMIWG Coalition: Regardless of who forms government, we are putting all political parties on notice that they need to implement the MMIWG Calls for Justice as a priority. We demand accountability, action and justice now! Open invitation to political parties to join.
WHEN:Sunday October 20, 2019
12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
WHERE:Meet at Victory Square at 12:00 pm (corner of Hastings and Cambie, Vancouver)
March to CRAB Park (101 E Waterfront Rd, Vancouver) for a rally
Emcee: Kelly White
Territorial welcome and protocol: Cecelia Point
– Carol Martin, advocate for MMIWG
– Diana Day, Lead Matriarch, Pacific Association of First Nations Women
– Breen Ouellette, Former Lawyer on the National Inquiry MMIWG, NDP Candidate for Vancouver Centre
– Ruby Langan, Union of National Employees National Equity Representative for Aboriginal Peoples
– Shelley Saje Ricci, CUPE Local 728, Surrey School District
– Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Neskonlith, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer
– Jenny Kwan, Coalition member, NDP Candidate for Vancouver East
– Lorelei Williams, family member, Butterflies in Spirit
– Jaunita Desjarlais family member -Weeneeta Mee
– Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party
Kelly White: (604-565-4927)
Carol Martin: (604-440-1638)
Diana Day, Pacific Association of First Nations Women (778-868-6510)
Kukip7 Judy Wilson, Union of BC Indian Chiefs (250-320-7738)