PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NWAC Calls on All Canadians to Report Suspicions Regarding Missing or Murdered Persons
Ottawa, ON (October 24, 2013) - The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is deeply concerned that Aboriginal women continue to go missing or be found murdered on a regular basis in Canada.
Earlier this week national and local media reported that two Aboriginal women were missing from the Kitigan Zibi reserve. Last seen Sunday morning, Laura Spence and Nicole Hannah Whiteduck disappeared from the Quebec reserve leaving important items behind such as their cell phones, wallets, and money. Both women are mothers and are not known for leaving their children for extended periods of time. Community members consider the situation as suspicious. If you have any information on this case please contact the Kitigan Zibi Police at 819-449-6000.
According to NWAC volunteer tracking of incidents, as many as 2-3 Aboriginal women or girls are reported missing or murdered every month somewhere in Canada; NWAC believes this number to be much higher. In March 2010, NWAC released research findings that included data on 582 missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls; the number has since increased to 668 indicating that the problem has not decreased and that there is a continuing need to track occurrences.
NWAC President Michèle Audette stated that “this is a terrible tragedy that must be addressed in a comprehensive way by all parties involved, from the Prime Minister to all Canadian citizens. We can start by saying what we know and go from there.” NWAC is calling upon all Canadian citizens to report any and all suspicious incidents and statements made by individuals regarding cases involving missing or murdered persons that are current or historical cases. Anonymous tips can be made to the Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). “Perhaps they have seen or heard something, or they know something specific but they do not report because they fear for their own safety, or they don’t want to get involved. Please report what you know, do it anonymously if you have to because these families need to know where their missing loved ones are and what happened to those who are no longer with us,” stressed President Audette.
NWAC and its many partners and supports continue to call for a National Public Inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. For further information and to download a copy of the petition for a national inquiry: http://www.nwac.ca/nwac-petition-national-inquiry-needed
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For more information, please contact:
Director, Violence Prevention & Safety
(formerly Evidence to Action and Sisters In Spirit)
Native Women's Association of Canada
Tel.: 613-722-3033 ext. 225
Toll Free: 1-800-461-4043
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