October 4, 2017

No More Stolen Sisters

October 4th is a day to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people and to support their families. Today, students are participating in Sisters in Spirit vigils across the country.

There are more than 1500 cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people in Canada. Roughly half of these cases have occurred since the year 2000. This represents 60% of the 3000 women who have gone missing in Canada since 1980, despite making up only 3% of the female population. 88% of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People are mothers, creating an intergenerational impact of this crisis for decades to come. More than half of these cases are young people under the age of 31. This endemic violence is perpetuated by compounding systems of colonialism, racism and misogyny and is absolutely no fault of the women, girls and two-spirit people.

Despite the ongoing National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, this issue has seen little to no progress. As of today, only one hearing has taken place, and leaders from Indigenous organisations, including the Native Women’s Association of Canada and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, have called for restructuring of the Inquiry. Bureaucratic processes hinder the advancement of this initiative and the Federation stands with all those who have called for reform.

This is not an Indigenous issue. The endemic violence against Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people is a Canadian issue, and it’s up to all of us to end it.