Toronto, ON — The Chiefs of Ontario (COO) encourage everyone to support the Seventh Annual Sisters in Spirit Vigils on October 4th.
The Sisters in Spirit (SIS) was launched by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) to address the hundreds of Indigenous women and girls who have either disappeared or have been found murdered in Canada over the past few decades. Sisters in Spirit had their budget cut in 2010 however the vigils continue to grow.
Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy stated; “It is a national disgrace that our murdered and missing women and girls doesn’t even register in the national consciousness of Canada. These vigils are a chance for us to not only remember the murdered and missing women and girls but to honour their families and to hope that all Canadians will find the moral and ethical will to demand justice be served and this issue be brought to the front of the collective national consciousness.”
So far this year The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) recommended that Canada eliminate violence against women. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women also announced its intention to investigate Canada’s response to the disappearance and murder of Aboriginal women as well The United Nations Committee against Torture condemned Canada’s response to murdered and missing Indigenous women and recommended collaborative approaches to ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.
“If over 580 non First Nations women and girls were murdered and missing the outrage in this country would reverberate around the world, instead there is a deafening silence and a cold indifference that must be shaken from its complacency. The Chiefs of Ontario encourage everyone to support the vigils.” said Regional Chief Beardy.
NWAC is issuing a petition calling on the federal government to hold a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The petitions will be distributed at the SIS Vigils on October 4th and returned to NWAC for presentation to the government.
For more information and locations of vigils please go to http://www.nwac.ca/programs/
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and secretariat for collective decision making, action and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario.