On December 6 - We Remember and We Fight for Justice and Change with Aboriginal Women

November 26, 2012, 2:50 PM EST

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Canada has a shameful history of its treatment of aboriginal women and the lack of concern for their lives and well-being.

Sisters, friends, mothers, daughters, partners and loved ones, gone missing, murdered and their bodies never found.   Never found, never investigated, never solved and in many cases, their killers never brought to justice.

These are the women whose lives have been violently ripped from them, their strength and vitality, suddenly and forever extinguished.  And grieving families who will never share another moment with their loved ones again.

Since the 1980s, it has been estimated that thousands of aboriginal women have gone missing and have been murdered. There are more than 582 documented cases alone, unofficial accounts are significantly higher. Grave violence against aboriginal women has been at crisis levels for years. Disgracefully, women and their families have faced incredible indifference from all levels of government and law enforcement.

The disappearance and murder of hundreds of aboriginal women is a national travesty, deserving of serious attention and immediate action by all levels of government. Law enforcement agencies and government have instead acted as a barrier to solving many of these cases, and have repeatedly failed to intervene, in a way that would have saved lives.

The lives of aboriginal women are not to be dismissed or forgotten.

The CAW supports the call for a national public inquiry and a national framework of action to address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

This year for the December 6th commemoration of the 1989 Montreal Massacre, the CAW is pledging to support the ongoing efforts of the Native Women's Association of Canada to draw attention to the missing and murdered aboriginal women and push for a national inquiry.

To find out more, please visit: http://www.nwac.ca/programs/sisters-spirit

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is a day commemorated in Canada each December 6, the anniversary of the 1989 ÉcolePolytechnique Massacre, where 14 women were singled out because of their gender and murdered. December 6 is marked by vigils, discussions and forums to demand government action to end gender-based violence, in all of its many forms.

How you Can Help:

. Sign the petition; http://www.nwac.ca/sites/default/files/imce/2012%20NWAC%20Inquiry%20Petition_FINAL.pdf
. Call, lobby or write your MP and ask them to support an inquiry and a national framework for action to end violence against aboriginal women and girls; http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/FindED.aspx?L=e
. Organize a December 6th event in your community, with your family, friends and co-workers.

A Snapshot on Violence Against Aboriginal Women:

. Aboriginal women (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) are more than eight times more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than non-Aboriginal women.
. Canadian Aboriginal women between the ages of 25 and 44 are five times more likely than all other Canadian women in the same age group to die as a result of violence.
. Approximately 75% of survivors of sexual assault in Aboriginal communities are young women under 18 years of age.
. There are more than 582 documented cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
. Roughly half of the official murders and disappearances have occurred since the year 2000.
. More than half of these women and girls were under the age of 31.
. Aboriginal women and girls are as likely to be killed by an acquaintance or stranger as they are by an intimate partner.
. Aboriginal women and girls are more likely to be killed by a stranger than non-Aboriginal women.
. Aboriginal women are 3.5 times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to be victims of violence.

(From the Native Women's Association of Canada, Amnesty International, Canadian Women's Foundation, Researched to Death: B.C. Aboriginal Women and Violence, 2005)

To view the Full Decemeber 6 statement please click here

To print the December 6 buton order form please click here

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