Why are Aboriginal women's murders ignored?

NUPGE has supported this initiative with funding through its "Building International Sisterhood campaign" projects.

Ottawa (18 May 2009) – The Harper government is once again deflecting calls for a public investigation into more than 500 cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women.

Amnesty International, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Liberal Party of Canada have all called on the federal government to take more action on the alarming number of Aboriginal women and girls that have been murdered or gone missing in the past three decades.

In March, 2009 the NWAC released a second edition of Voices of Our Sisters in Spirit: A Report to Families and Communities

The Sisters in Spirit Initiative is a multi-year research, education and policy initiative designed to investigate the disproportionately high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. 

NUPGE has supported this initiative with funding through its "Building International Sisterhood" projects.

The key findings of the report include the fact that the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada is extremely high, with over 520 cases confirmed since 1970. The percentage of cases of missing women and girls has remained constant, suggesting that there is a trend of ongoing disappearances.

For many years Native organizations have raised the issue of violence against Aboriginal women and girls.  And in 2004, Amnesty International released a report entitled Stolen Sisters:  Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women In Canada. The report stressed the issue that the lives of Indigenous women in Canada are placed at risk precisely because they are Indigenous women.

Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), says that native girls and women still don’t get the same attention from police or the media when they vanish.  Racism, stereotypes and discrimination are still the reality for Aboriginal families who are seeking help when a loved one goes missing.

About NUPGE International Women’s Projects

At the National Union’s 2006 conference, Building International Sisterhood, NUPGE announced that it would be developing partnerships with four women’s projects, one of which is the Sisters in Spirit initiative.  At the NUPGE 2007 Triennial Convention a resolution was passed to provide support to the projects for three additional years.

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

More information:
Sisters in Spirit
Amnesty International