Ottawa (02 Oct. 2014) — The ninth annual Sisters in Spirit Vigils will take place on October 4, 2014, across Canada and internationally. The vigils will honour the growing number of murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls. The vigils help raise awareness of this crisis and provide support to families who have lost a loved one. They serve as a strong reminder that these women and girls will not be forgotten.
The vigils take many forms: a rally, a candlelight vigil, a workshop, a moment of silence, a walk, or a gathering where people can share their memories and a meal. Last year, a record 216 vigils took place across the country and internationally.
Sisters in Spirit initiative
The Sisters in Spirit (SIS) is an initiative launched by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) to call attention to the nearly 600 Aboriginal women and girls that have been murdered or gone missing in Canada in the past few decades.
In 2012, NWAC launched a petition calling for a national public inquiry into this tragedy. Over 10,000 signatures were collected. Despite the growing attention to this situation and the concern raised by numerous organizations and Canadians, the federal government continues to refuse to take action on the issue.
In their public statement, NWAC once again calls on the federal government to launch a national inquiry into the alarming number of murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls. NWAC believes that an inquiry would be a crucial step in implementing a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan that is necessary to address the scale and severity of violence faced by Aboriginal women and girls.
Need for action
The National Union, along with its Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues, has been working for nearly a decade to raise awareness of this Canadian tragedy. And once again we are calling upon all Canadians to attend a Vigil on October 4th to provide support for the families who have lost loved ones.
Please join the National Union as we work to raise awareness of the need to take immediate action on this issue and on the underlying social issues, such as poverty and violence, which are faced by First Nations in Canada.
To register a vigil: https://nwac.ca/programs/2014-vigil-registration
To light a virtual candle: http://www.october4th.ca
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