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UBCIC Repudiates Harper Government’s View and Supports National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

by pmnationtalk on December 19, 2014704 Views

December 19, 2014

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC) Recent media reports regarding the renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women quote Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt stating “if the guys grow up believing that women have no rights, that’s how they are treated” and “It’s a question of people pulling together, addressing the issue, and taking action.” More shockingly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper remarked “It isn’t high on our radar, to be honest.”

In response, UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip stated “These recent condescending, disgusting and racist comments greatly underscores the dire need for a national inquiry. The Harper Government must hear from the victims, the families who have mourned their loved ones, front-line organizations who can offer guidance and provincial agencies sharing their challenges. People must pull together in our communities, across the province and throughout the country in order to meaningfully address the real gaps in services and make long-lasting and definitive changes to end the violence against Indigenous girls and women. Prime Minister, the inquiry is very high on our radar.”

UBCIC Vice President, Chief Bob Chamberlin declared “We must address and eliminate the critical and devastating issues of violence against Indigenous girls and women, intersecting, systemic and deeply rooted factors including poverty, colonialism, and racism must be examined. We remind you that in Canada, Indigenous women are five times more likely than other women to die as a result of violence. This is a national and international crisis. We absolutely refuse to accept the disinterest of the Harper Government’s stance on violence that many Indigenous girls and women heartbreakingly experience on a regular basis.”

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer remarked “At this year’s Annual Council of the Federation, premiers from across the country voiced their support for an inquiry. In order for the inquiry to be a meaningful process that concludes with substantive recommendations, UBCIC is calling for an inquiry that directly involves Indigenous Peoples, structured with a fact-finding and policy-based mandate, includes Indigenous and/or woman chief commissioner(s) along with an Indigenous youth council, infusing the inquiry with both Indigenous, woman and girl perspectives. The Government of Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Indigenous Rights are Human Rights.”

In closing Coola Louis, UBCIC Women’s Representative asserted “We all have a collective responsibility to redress the systemic racism and eliminate the violence perpetuated against Indigenous girls and women, and the federal government must implement the growing call for a national inquiry. We are confident an increasing number of Canadians share the deep concerns and recognize the intensifying need to take action – we as Indigenous Peoples and Canadians look forward to the Harper Government’s timely and decisive response. If not, we will call upon the next government to do what is right and just.”

Media Inquiries:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip (604) 684-0231
Chief Bob Chamberlin (604) 684-0231
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson (604) 684-0231
Coola Louis (604) 684-0231

NT5

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