October 4th Sisters In Spirit Vigils


Public Statement

September 12, 2015 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is looking for supporters to read the following statement nationwide on October 4th, 2015 as part of the Sisters In Spirit Vigils – A Movement for Social Change:

October 4th is a day when we honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and support families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence. More than 100 SIS Vigils are registered from coast-to-coast for October 4th, 2015. No other event in Canada brings so many Indigenous communities and Canadian citizens together to specifically celebrate, honour and support Indigenous women and girls.

With the release of several important reports in 2015, momentum is gaining behind the call for a national inquiry. This is a crucial step in implementing a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan that is necessary to address the scale and severity of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls. Together, we must demand action and secure commitments from all levels of government.

October 4th is dedicated to honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and to support families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence. Vigils take many forms: a rally, a candlelight vigil, a workshop, a moment of silence, a walk, or a gathering of people to share memories and a meal. Together, the October SIS vigils have become a movement for social change and a reminder that our sisters will not be forgotten.

In closing, we express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the families. Many are here today and we thank them for sharing their stories. You are the reason we continue to demand action. We are honoured to walk beside you on this journey!

This public statement is a very powerful way for Indigenous and non-Indigenous leadership to signal their support and commitment to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “Once again this year, NWAC is asking that you share this public statement with your family, friends and peers and reach out to support a family who has suffered such a tragic loss. A loss that has a profound and long lasting impact on the family and community including Canada as a nation,” announced NWAC President Dawn Lavell Harvard.

We continue to call for all levels of government to work with Indigenous women and representative organizations. The Native Women’s Association of Canada continues to call for a National Public Inquiry and a comprehensive national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women and girls. NWAC thanks all their long-standing SIS Vigil partners for once again supporting NWAC’s work.

We look forward to your continued involvement and participation.

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 the achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.

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For additional information please contact:
Claudette Dumont-Smith
NWAC Executive Director
Toll free 1-800-461-4043
Tel.: 613-722-3033 x. 223
Email: cdumontsmith@nwac.ca

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