NIPISSING FIRST NATION—Anishinabek Nation leaders are urging the Council of the Federation to put pressure on the Harper government to call an inquiry into the nearly 1,200 missing and murdered indigenous and traded women in Canada.
“An inquiry will enable stakeholders to identify systemic issues with respect to violence against women,” says Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee.
In August 2013, Jody Porter broke the CBC story about the Indigenous women, girls and babies in Canada who are taken onto US ships to be sold into the sex trade.
“This isn’t news to us,” says Chief Madahbee. “This government just refuses to recognize anything that is going on with indigenous peoples. We need an inquiry now. We cannot allow this to continue. Families and friends of indigenous women and girls of the missing, murdered and traded need answers. Our communities need healing and Canadian society needs to wake up.”
In 2013, the Conservative government drastically cut funding to the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s ‘Sisters in Spirit’ program. The program’s mandate was research and advocacy for murdered and missing women in Canada.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.