Focusing attention on the crisis of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.
Ottawa (28 Sept. 2011) – The sixth 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.
The Sisters in Spirit research has two main components: 1) storytelling, and 2) database and is guided by the cultural and ethical values of sharing, caring, trust and strength. SIS works with families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls to tell life stories. The goals of SIS's research is to better understand the root causes of violence against Aboriginal women, identify measures to increase safety and well-being, and honour women and girls who are missing or who have been lost to violence.
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 six years, NWAC has held vigils on Oct. 4 to honour the lives of these women and girls. In 2010, 84 vigils were held across Canada. The vigils provide support to grieving families and seek to provide opportunities for them to heal.
A joint statement will be read calling for all levels of government to work with Aboriginal women and representative organizations to establish a comprehensive, national plan of action to stop violence against women. The joint statement is supported by numerous organizations including NWAC, Amnesty International Canada, KAIROS and NUPGE.
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