NWAC applauds Assembly of First Nations' Chiefs resolution to address missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada

“The resolution and the numerous discussions on the issue that took place during the Assembly of Chiefs is a clear indication that the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls is of paramount importance to the First Nations’ leadership,” said Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, NWAC President.

Ottawa (26 July 2012) - The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is pleased with a resolution passed during the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Annual General Assembly last week. The resolution on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls calls for clear and definable actions for the AFN and Canada to bring an end to the high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

“The resolution and the numerous discussions on the issue that took place during the Assembly of Chiefs is a clear indication that the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls is of paramount importance to the First Nations’ leadership,” said NWAC President, Jeannette Corbiere Lavell.

The AFN resolution directs the National Chief and the AFN to support the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) inquiry process regarding the disappearances and murders of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. “We are pleased that the resolution also includes support for our work at the international level and recognizes, supports and reinforces actions required to bring light to the issue,” further commented President Corbiere Lavell.

It also designates October 4 as a National Day of Remembrance and calls on all First Nations to join NWAC and others across Canada to host a candlelight vigil in their communities and to participate in and hold events that raise awareness and support families who have lost a loved one to violence.

“We would like to thank the many Chiefs, their staff, and community leaders who worked to bring this resolution forward,” President Corbiere Lavell stated. “In particular, I would like to thank Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Grand Chief Morris Swan-Shannacappo, Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) and, Grand Chief David Harper, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) for taking the lead and making these issues a priority for the 2012 AFN Annual General Assembly. Meegwetch.”

The resolution goes further than most and directs the AFN to convene a National Forum and Special Chiefs Assembly on Justice and Community Safety in 2012-2013 and to collaborate with NWAC to include a focus on murdered and missing Indigenous women.

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