NAN Supports Calls for Action on MMIWG
THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum supports Indigenous families and leaders across Canada who are calling for action on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people:
“I acknowledge all women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people who have gone missing or have been taken from us through acts of violence. Our thoughts and prayers today are especially with Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, Rebecca Contois, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe (Buffalo Woman). I fully support their families’ struggle to have their remains recovered so they can be laid to rest with the dignity and respect they deserve.
It has been more than three years since the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls documented the horrific violence that Indigenous women and girls face on a daily basis. A lot of work has gone into developing the priorities and actions needed to support the unique needs for safety and healing for the women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in First Nation communities, but little action has been taken.
The basic human rights to safety and justice are violated daily for First Nations citizens in Canada. Countless inquests and reports have identified these issues and proposed solutions, but there has not been any significant action. This includes such basic things as funding community-based prevention initiatives such as safe places for women and girls to escape abusive relationships, especially in our remote communities.
In Thunder Bay alone there are 25 MMIWG cases, some of which are decades old. These require competent investigations along with the 16 other cases recommended for re-investigation in the Broken Trust report. Sadly, the families have received little support, and there has been a critical lack of accountability and transparency. We still have not heard from Ontario’s Attorney General on the status of these re-investigators, and family members tell us that they still have not even been contacted by police.
Our families had cried rivers of tears, but this will not bring justice for our grandmothers, daughters, sisters, and cousins. We will continue to cherish while we hold these governments and agencies accountable for their continued failure to protect our people and provide the justice and healing they deserve.”
Achneepineskum participated in ceremony with the daughters of Morgan Harris and Long Plain First Nation Chief Kyra Wilson at the Assembly of First Nations last week and made a tearful plea for action to the federal government on this ongoing genocide.
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