Raising our voices to demand the United Nations investigate missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
7th annual march for murdered and missing Indigenous women
Tuesday February 14, 2012
12:30 p.m. start
Toronto Police headquarters (College Street, between Yonge and Bay Street)
Followed by a community feast at the 519 Church Street Community Centre
The call out:
According to research conducted by the Native Women Association of Canada (NWAC) under the Sisters In Spirit program, over 600 Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing, most of them over the last 30 years.
Despite clear evidence that this is an ongoing issue, the federal government decided in the fall of 2010 to end funding to Sisters in Spirit. Instead, monies in the amount of $10 million have been dedicated to a central RCMP missing person centre. The same institution — who, along with the Vancouver Police Department, failed to properly investigate Pickton in 1997 — is now at the centre of a public inquiry in Vancouver. The sham inquiry into the failed Pickton investigation has been boycotted by 20 of the 21 groups who were granted standing due to the denial of adequate funding for legal defense.
Pickton, who was convicted for six murders, has admitted to killing 49 women. A total of 18 murders occurred after he was arrested and released for the attempted murder of a sex worker in 1997. This is blood on police hands, yet RCMP officers testifying at the sham inquiry state “there are few things they would change about how they did their work.”
It should come as no surprise that the Committee to End Discrimination Against Women at the United Nations has accepted submissions put forward by advocates of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) as well as the Native Women’s Association of Canada and announced their intent to launch an inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.
This inquiry procedure is used to investigate what the Committee believes to be very serious violations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. CEDAW is now considering initiating such a procedure and will make their decision in March. We need to show the UN and the Canadian government that we want CEDAW to go ahead. Alongside groups across the country, Toronto’s February 14 organizing committee comprised of No More Silence, The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, The Native Women’s Resource Centre and other Indigenous and feminist organizations will be mobilizing at Police Headquarters at 12:30 p.m. to show our support for such an investigation.
On February 14 we come together in solidarity with the women who started this vigil over 20 years ago in Vancouver’s DTES, and with the marches and rallies that will be taking place across this land. We stand in defense of our lives and to demonstrate against the complicity of the state in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women and the impunity of state institutions and actors (police, RCMP, coroner offices, the courts and an indifferent federal government) that prevents justice for all Indigenous peoples.