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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2022
OTTAWA – A statement from Carol McBride, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), on the granting of bail for Dawn Walker:
“The Native Women’s Association of Canada stands in solidarity with Dawn Walker’s friends, family, and Circle of Supporters who are fighting for Indigenous victims of domestic abuse. We are pleased that bail has been granted.
The over-incarceration of Indigenous women is unconscionable. We know that more than 50 per cent of female prisoners housed in federal jails are Indigenous. And yet, the justice system in Canada seems incapable of making the changes necessary to reduce large number of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women behind bars.
We also know that Indigenous women are targets of a genocide. That is the finding of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Much of that violence is being perpetrated by domestic partners. Indigenous women are three times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be subjected to intimate partner violence.
And yet, the National Inquiry found there is a failure on behalf of police and court officials to adequately respond to intimate partner crime, or to provide for the needs of Indigenous women and girls.
We are over-victimized by violence, and under-protected by the justice system. This is a pivotal case in our history, which is being watched nationally and internationally, will test the will of courts to meet the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice, and we believe the Publication Ban should be lifted.
Dawn has said she fled to the United States because she feared for her and her young son’s safety. She has also said she is the victim of intimate partner abuse. The facts of this case are not yet fully known. But, police must not sustain their default practices of dismissing Indigenous women who say they have been violence victims. And courts have a duty to consider the systemic failings that create Indigenous women’s overincarceration and their disproportionate violence victim rates.”
We, at NWAC, are watching this case and demand fair treatment for Dawn as she takes this difficult journey.”
For information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
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.