Focusing attention on the crisis of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.
Ottawa (22 Sept. 2010) – The fifth annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil will take place Oct. 4 across Canada to honour murdered and missing Aboriginal women and their families.
Sisters in Spirit (SIS) is an initiative launched by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) to address the issue of the hundreds of Aboriginal women and girls who have either disappeared or have been found murdered in Canada over the past few decades. The SIS initiative has worked to identify root causes, trends and circumstances of violence that have led to these disappearances and deaths.
In March 2010, NWAC released a report entitled What Their Stories Tells Us which provides evidence that 582 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada.
For the past five years, NWAC has held vigils on Oct. 4 to honour the lives of these women and girls. In 2009, 72 vigils were held across Canada. The vigils provide support to grieving families and seek to provide opportunities for them to heal.
The events are also used to draw attention to this crisis, educate the public and to put pressure on all levels of government to act.
This year the National Union’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues will be attending the vigil on Parliament Hill in conjunction with their committee meeting.
“The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is deeply committed to women’s equality and ending violence against women,” says NUPGE national president James Clancy.
“Many of our members work on the frontlines and see the effects of violence and poverty on Aboriginal women,” he notes.
“For the past four years the National Union and our Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues have been involved in providing support to SIS in its struggle for a future in which Aboriginal women and girls are free from the threat of violence. I am encouraging all Canadians to take part in the Oct. 4 Vigil and help bring attention to this national tragedy.”
NUPGE International Women’s Projects
At the National Union’s 2006 conference, Building International Sisterhood, NUPGE announced it would be developing partnerships with four women's projects, one of which is the Sisters in Spirit initiative. At NUPGE’s 2007 Triennial Convention, a resolution was passed to provide support to the projects for three additional years.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
• Sisters in Spirit
• 2010 SIS Vigil Locations