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October 18, 2013 (Ottawa ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is extending their final call for signatures on the NWAC Petition Calling for a National Public Inquiry to investigate the tragedy of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
President Michèle Audette sends a message of remembrance and support to all First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities. “Our hearts are full as we remember our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, grandmothers and friends who have been lost to violence,” she shared, adding “we call on the Federal Government to support families and communities, Aboriginal leadership, allies and the Premiers who have voiced the need for a National Public Inquiry in to missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.” As we have repeatedly urged, such a response is necessary to address the scale and severity of violence faced by Aboriginal women and girls and is a first step in implementing a National Action Plan. Together, we must demand action and secure commitments from all levels of government.
NWAC is proud to be part of this momentum. One year ago, NWAC launched a petition calling for a National Public Inquiry. Completed forms have arrived each day, filled with signatures as well as messages of solidarity. More than 10,000 signatures have been collected and the petitions will be submitted to the Federal Government the week of December 6th.
NWAC originally planned to present the petitions today but has been asked instead to extend the deadline for another few months to add to the ever growing list of supporters. We encourage all Canadians to download a copy of the petition, gather more signatures and submit completed forms to the NWAC office by the end of November 2013. Although online petitions can be helpful, NWAC’s Petition can only be signed in-person and on paper as there are restrictions as to what type of petitions can be submitted to the Federal Government. The NWAC Petition for a National Public Inquiry is available for download at http://www.nwac.ca/nwac-petition-national-inquiry-needed.
For those looking for more information on the National Public Inquiry, you are invited to read NWAC’s backgrounder document entitled “Why Support a National Public Inquiry?’ which can also be found at http://www.nwac.ca/nwac-petition-national-inquiry-needed.
Organizations are also encouraged to support the 2013 Joint Statement which is supported by more than 50 organizations to-date. The 2013 Joint Statement can be found at http://www.nwac.ca/programs/2013-joint-statement.
Together in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leaders that work tirelessly to address this critical issue, NWAC supports measures that raise awareness of this human rights crisis. In addition to signing the NWAC Petition, we also encourage Canadians to write your local leaders to support this call for a National Public Inquiry as well as reach out and support families and communities that have lost loved ones to violence.
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About The Native Women’s Association of Canada
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canada societies.