On the right side of history – Inquiry necessary to end violence

OTTAWA – Lorraine Rekmans, Indigenous Affairs Critic for the Green Party of Canada and candidate for Leeds – Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, said she supports an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, and expects tomorrow’s National Roundtable to propose concrete action on this issue.

“The murder and disappearance of Indigenous women and girls in Canada will echo through future generations,” Rekmans said. “I want my grandchildren to know I am on the right side of history, and will do all I can to see an end to this violence. I support a national inquiry as part of a strategy to end violence against all women.”

The roundtable was created to address violence against Indigenous women, and to co-ordinate actions between different branches of government.

There are currently 1181 Indigenous women who have been murdered or are missing – 225 of these cases remain unsolved.

“The violence directed towards Indigenous women is fueled by racism, poverty, and a legacy of colonialism,” Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, said. “I have supported the call for an inquiry into the loss of Indigenous women and I believe the federal government has an obligation to move ahead with an inquiry immediately.”

“In my traditional territory, the Quatsino Nation, we remember Angeline Pete, who has been missing since May 2011. She is the same age as my daughter,” said Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, Green Party Critic for Status of Women and candidate for Cowichan – Malahat – Langford. “The families of the murdered and missing women need to know that violence against Indigenous women is being addressed, and that their missing loved ones matter. We will not give up in this fight for Angeline and all of our stolen sisters.”

“As recent tragedies have highlighted, we are failing Indigenous women in Canada,” concluded Rekmans. “We cannot view violence against Indigenous women as individual crimes – they stem from a history of colonialism, racism, and poverty. We must address the complex background of this violence and we must do so immediately to prevent further tragedies.”