Joint Statement in Solidarity with Indigenous Families Mourning the Murders of Four Indigenous Women

Joint Statement in Solidarity with Indigenous Families Mourning the Murders of Four Indigenous Women

by ahnationtalk on December 6, 202256 Views

Amnesty International Canada stands in solidarity with the families and loves ones of Rebecca Contois of Crane River First Nation, Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris, both of Long Plain First Nation and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman). Their tragic deaths by an alleged serial killer is yet another source of massive grief for Indigenous communities across Canada, whose long-called for end to colonial violence, classism, racism and misogyny is still not met with an adequate government or broader community response. These deaths must not be ignored, nor the reality that they represent the ongoing generational harms and trauma that are rooted in violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people, and we remain firm in supporting First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities and advocates in their demands to fully implement the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+’s 231 Calls for Justice. Amnesty’s complete joint statement with organizations and advocates across Canada is below.

December 6, 2022 – As we observe the 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the announcement of charges in the murder of four Indigenous women at the hands of an alleged serial killer linked to white supremacist ideology is a tragic indication that the urgent action long called for by Indigenous women, families, and communities to address the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people has not been taken.

As organizations and advocates working to end violence against women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people, we stand in solidarity with the families, friends, and loved ones of Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris, both of Long Plain First Nation, of Rebecca Contois of Crane River First Nation, and of Buffalo Woman, and we extend our condolences to all those mourning their loss in Winnipeg, Treaty No. 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, and Homeland of the Métis Nation. We echo the calls of Indigenous advocates and organizations for immediate and concrete action to better implement the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+’s 231 Calls for Justice and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We commit to reflecting this urgent need for action that centers the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in our own work.

Indications that the alleged killer held white supremacist, misogynistic, and anti-semitic beliefs are reminders of the pressing and very real violence with which Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people have contended continues. We join with others in pressing for a full investigation of racism and hate as motivations for these murders. To do so would be to honour and respect the truths many families shared during the National Inquiry about the ongoing and increasingly hostile and extreme forms of intersecting gender and race-based hate and violence they are regularly subjected to, and in keeping with the Calls for Justice.

As the Final Report of the National Inquiry makes clear all levels of government, as well as all sectors, institutions, organizations, and the general public, particularly those operating from a colonial framework who deliver services to Indigenous women and gender-diverse people, must be actively involved in the implementation of the Calls for Justice. In particular, we want to highlight the clear directions put forward in the Calls for Justice that action and funding must prioritize access to the basic necessities for safety (Calls for Justice, 4.1, 4.2), including affordable food, housing (4.6), and transportation (4.8), shelters (4.7), and transfer of control and resources for the delivery of Indigenous-led services (e.g. 2.5, 3.2). The continued and active exclusion of Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people from such basic human rights and services that many Canadians take for granted enables both individual and systemic violence against them.

The National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice, along with countless other reports and recommendations put forward over many years, clearly outline the steps that need to be taken to not only commit in principle but to take action and dedicate resources necessary to dismantling colonial systems, policies, practices, and relationships that continue to devalue the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people. As the families of the four women have expressed over the past months, with their loss also comes the loss of the possibilities the women’s lives held and the contributions they would bring to their families and communities. We grieve these losses, and we commit to doing the difficult and pressing work required to build relationships that prevent violence from continuing to diminish and rob Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people of realizing these possibilities.

Signed,

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights

Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes

Amnesty International Canadian Section (English Speaking)

Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

Battered Women’s Support Services

Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Canadian Council of Muslim Women

Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Women’s Foundation

Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice

Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic

Child Care Now | Un enfant Une place

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)

DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada

Ending Violence Association of Canada

Feminist Alliance for International Action

Girls Action Foundation

Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS)

Keepers of the Circle

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation

Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre

Montreal Council of Women

National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)

National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC)

National Right to Housing Network

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)

Oxfam Canada

PREVNet (Promoting Relationships & Eliminating Violence Network)

Prince Albert Council of Women

Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS)

Provincial Council of Women of Ontario

Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba

Provincial Council of Women Saskatchewan

Québec contre les violences sexuelles

Rise Women’s Legal Centre

South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO)

Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre

Unifor

West Coast LEAF

Wisdom2Action

WomenatthecentrE

Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)

Women’s National Housing & Homelessness Network

Women’s Shelters Canada

Yukon Status of Women Council

YWCA Canada

YWCA Metro Vancouver

NT5

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