NWAC not surprised by numbers of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women reported in RCMP’s National Operational Overview

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON (May 16, 2014) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) welcomes the RCMP’s National Operational Overview, a comprehensive account of Canada’s missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The RCMP`s Overview reports 1,181 Aboriginal women that have gone missing or were murdered between the years of 1980 and 2012. Canada’s 1181 missing and murdered Aboriginal women represent the number of families affected by the loss of a loved one.

For years, NWAC has been raising concerns about the alarming number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls from across Canada and have reported over 600 cases. “This report substantiates NWAC’s claims and the RCMP’s Overview only reinforces our position for a coordinated and compressive approach to ending the violence perpetuated against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada,” said NWAC President Michèle Audette.

Since 2011, NWAC has been calling for all Canadians and the federal government to support the implementation of a national public inquiry into this urgent issue. President Audette states that, “we can no longer deny the existence or seriousness of this issue and we hope that this ends the complacency and indifference previously shown by the RCMP and the federal government towards our missing and murdered sisters”.

In support of a national public inquiry, James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and leading international organizations also recommends the need for a coordinated approach in addressing this issue. NWAC is waiting for a proactive response from the Canadian government to deal with this critical issue that continues to plague our communities.
NWAC is pleased that the RCMP’s national strategy aimed at supporting the needs of high risk communities and views this as an opportunity to work in partnership with our communities in overcoming the systemic issues that have previously hampered calls for a national public inquiry.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.05.16 NWAC not Surprised by Numbers of MMAW reported in RCMPs National Operational Overview

 

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The Native Women’s Association of Canada Supports the Report Recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON (May 14, 2014) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) welcomes the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya. This report highlights the ongoing human rights concerns of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and provides recommendations for improvements that are required in existing government laws and policies. NWAC calls for the Canadian government to implement these recommendations in partnership with Aboriginal peoples and organizations.

In his report, Anaya urges the federal government to “undertake a comprehensive, nation-wide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, organized in consultation with Indigenous peoples.” This recommendation comes at a critical time in light of the recent news reports claiming RCMP findings of 1,200 missing and murdered Aboriginal women across Canada. The federal government’s repeated inaction to calls for an inquiry has gained worldwide attention resulting in outcries from Aboriginal organizations, communities, members of parliament, and international bodies.

Anaya’s report came out of his visit to Canada in October, 2013 where he examined the situation of Aboriginal peoples, including the many claims of human rights violations made by Aboriginal women and their families. During his visit, the Special Rapporteur visited several locations across the country and met with representatives from the Canadian government and Aboriginal groups (including NWAC).

NWAC President Michèle Audette states “We are pleased to see that the Special Rapporteur is reiterating NWAC’s long-standing plea which is supported by many others for a national public inquiry and the need for a comprehensive plan of action to address the situation. The issue of violence against Aboriginal women and girls remains critical, and immediate strong action and support needs to be taken.

NWAC acknowledges the Special Rapporteur for his commitment in creating awareness on the human rights situation of Aboriginal Peoples, in particular women and girls, in Canada and applaud his efforts to encourage the Canadian government to meet its obligations to uphold and protect Aboriginal human rights. “I strongly urge the government to show consideration for the national and international community’s growing concern and implement a national public inquiry immediately,” President Audette said.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

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For additional information, please contact:

Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

14.05.14 Report Recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur Press Release

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NWAC Recognizes the Saskatchewan Government for Taking Action to Solve and Prevent Cases of Missing and Murdered by Establishing a Missing Persons Week

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2014 Ottawa, ON – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) congratulates the Saskatchewan Government for creating Saskatchewan Missing Persons Week for the week of May 4 to 10th, 2014. It is a week dedicated to hosting activities to solve cases and prevent future ones as well as honour those who have gone missing. The week’s activities will increase public awareness on the varied reasons persons may go missing and highlight five of the frequent causes.

Police agencies in Saskatchewan have jurisdiction over Missing Persons cases. For several years, all police services have been working together to share information on historical cases, which includes missing persons and cases of found human remains. This information is now being shared with the public in hopes of generating more tips to find missing persons.

Hundreds of people go missing every year, but most are returned safe and sound to their families and friends. In some cases they do not return, and the fear is that they have been a victim to foul play. The police have launched a web site which features the profiles of these missing people. One of the requirements for inclusion on this site is that they have been missing for more than six months and that they come from the province of Saskatchewan. Police continue looking for missing persons until the case is solved or until all investigational avenues have been exhausted.

Through the government initiative, the police are inviting everyone to view the information on this site. They have also released “Missing Person Week” videos to raise awareness with the public in order to resolve the cases and to help raise awareness for prevention on some of the ways people can go missing.. These releases are posted on behalf of the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons as part of Missing Persons Week in Saskatchewan. NWAC President Michèle Audette stated, “This is the kind of action that we need to see happen all over Canada – in a comprehensive way, so that we can put an end to the high rates of missing and murdered Aboriginal women’s cases that go unresolved and prevent more women from going missing.”

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nations, Métis, and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

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For more information, please contact:

Lynne Groulx
Executive Director
1 Nicholas Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Toll-free 1-800-461-4043
Tel: 613-722-3033 ext. 223
Email: lgroulx@nwac.ca

14.05.07 Saskatchewan Government Takes Action MMIW

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