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.
For additional information, please contact:
Claudette Dumont Smith, Executive Director
1-800-461-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org