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A new, online map sets out to demonstrate the extent of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada. The map, released Feb. 5 [2013], by the online hacker.

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Presentation on theme: "A new, online map sets out to demonstrate the extent of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada. The map, released Feb. 5 [2013], by the online hacker."— Presentation transcript:

1 A new, online map sets out to demonstrate the extent of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada. The map, released Feb. 5 [2013], by the online hacker group Anonymous pays particular attention to Thunder Bay, where the group has been critical of the police investigation into the abduction and sexual assault of a First Nations woman. A friend of the family of the victim in that case said she welcomed the mapping initiative. "[It will] create that visual force to bring evidence to the scope of the problem in a way that will break the silence and in a way that will hopefully get all of Canada aware," said Christi Belcourt....Anonymous used public data from police crime maps to build the map. A function on the site allows people to report other information through an administrator. Source:

2 4 th October 2013, 4 – 7 pm Gather at Welkaqnik (de Wolfe house) then proceed to KCIC Garden Room, Acadia University The 4 th annual Community-Campus Gathering & Vigil to raise awareness about, remember & honour Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls

3 International treaty bodies that have reviewed Canadas compliance with its international human rights obligations over the last decade have consistently urged Canada to: 1)address, on an urgent basis, the extreme violence against Aboriginal women and girls and the disappearances and murders; 2)and, develop strategic plans to deal with their social and economic disadvantages.

4 National Sisters in Spirit Project Sisters In Spirit, initiated in 2005, was a research, education and policy initiative driven and led by Aboriginal women – federal Liberal Government committed $5 million over five years to the project, 2005 - 2010 Objective – to educate and ensure effective access to justice for families of missing Aboriginal women through awareness of police training and resources to deal with reports of all missing aboriginal women without discrimination Primary goal – conduct research and raise awareness of the alarmingly high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. first phase – conducted ongoing research that gathered statistical information on violence against Aboriginal women. – developed a sophisticated database that included more than 200 variables – research proved that there are more than 582 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in this country. – See more:

5 Voices of Our Sisters in Spirit: A Report to Families and Communities Native Womens Association of Canada (NWAC) 2nd edition, March 2009 See: 010_NWAC_SIS_Report_EN.pdf

6 Disproportionate number of native women among the missing and murdered Native Womens Association of Canada documented throughout Canada and starting in the 1960s, 582 missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Undocumented and unreported instances are thought to run much higher. In Ontario 70 native women were missing or murdered and of these 90% were mothers, three so far in 2013 Entered public consciousness with the Picton murders

7 B.C. Inquiry Under pressure from the public and Aboriginal groups, the B.C Missing Women Commission of Inquiry was convened in 2010, then attacked for lack of accountability, for bias, political indifference, and notable failure to include native groups. The Native Womens Association of Canada (NWAC) refused to participate, calling for a national inquiry, and if that failed, an international inquiry. Eight other groups withdrew from participation The inquiry was found wanting by Amnesty International, Assembly of First Nations, the United Nations, and Union of BC Indian chiefs president. Human Rights Watch strongly recommended a national inquiry.

8 The four volume B.C. Inquiry report strongly criticizes police and a systemic cover up of brutality to women, and in particular to Aboriginal women (there was no data list dedicated to missing and murdered non-Aboriginal women).

9 Context Matters Prison population – while aboriginal women comprise 4 % of Canadas population, they comprise 34% of the women in prison, and their number has increased over 86% in the past ten years.(11) Numbers of aboriginal women in Canadian prisons rose by about 90% between 2002 and 2012. The CBC finds the government generally dismissive of the problem.(12) Infant mortality – rates are more than twice as high for Aboriginals than Canadas general population, and 4 times higher for Inuit.(13) HIV aids infection and deaths – example: on Vancouver Island, while Aboriginal tribe members are 5.8 % of the population, they are 11% cent of the HIV cases.(14) Foster care – in 2007-2008 while 8% of the children in British Columbia were aboriginal, 52% of the children in government care were Aboriginal, despite the example of Residential Schools in the treatment of native peoples under government practices. Of the approximately 30,000 children under government care in Canada nearly half are Aboriginal.(15)

10 Context Matters Continued Disease rates – UNICEF Canada noted that from 2002 to 2006 the Inuit TB rate was 90 times the national average.(16) Tuberculosis is eight to ten times more prevalent among all Aboriginals than non-Aboriginals; Hepatitis C rates 6 times, diabetes rates 3 to 5 times.(17) Medical testing – from 1942 to 1952, 1300 severely under-nourished Aboriginals were the unknowing subjects of government nutrition testing.(18) A 2011 study by the Alberta Health Services in Edmonton was seeking aboriginal test subjects for vaccine research.(19) A background in the Governments use of medical, physical and psychological abuse of Aboriginals is available in Kevin Annetts Hidden No Longer: Genocide in Canada Past and Present.(20) Suicide rates – the Aboriginal suicide rate is over double the national average.(21) Among the Inuit it is 6 to 11 times the national average.(22) Aboriginal suicide rates offered by the Health Canada website (for First Nations and Inuit Health) are twenty years out of date. In Alaska, for young aboriginal males the rate is approximately 9 times their counterparts in the other United States and for aboriginal women 19 times (overall the U.S. aboriginal suicide rate is already 3.5 the U.S. national average).

11 Accolades for the SIS Research Sisters in Spirit received recognition from human rights organizations like Amnesty International. Police agencies and provincial governments have approached the project's staff to share information. Approached by police in British Columbia and government officials to become involved in the recently announced inquiry into police work around serial killer Robert Pickton's case and a parallel process to culminate in a summit focusing on violence faced by Aboriginal women

12 Second Phase Announced but... "slow smothering" of Sisters in Spirit began December 2009, when former status of women minister Helena Guergis, after "fighting tooth and nail," failed to convince the rest of the Stephen Harper cabinet to renew funding for the project, putting the future of Sisters in Spirit in limbo. Federal Conservative government committed $10 million over two years in its 2010 federal budget "to address the disturbingly high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women." – The money, however, would not go to Sisters in Spirit. With its funding running out at the end of March, the Status of Women department stepped in to provide $500,000 to keep the project's work going. Sisters in Spirit then released a report that confirmed 582 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women up to March 31 and a second project was put into the works called "Sisters in Spirit, evidence to action. – New money would be contingent on taking the name Sisters in Spirit out of the proposal. – They also said that none of the money could be spent on the database.

13 Losing the name would be a serious blow to NWAC. Sisters in Spirit, intertwined with its Grandmother Moon logo, has grown to represent the memories and stories of the missing and the dead women.

14 Funding Cuts Announced 2010 The Conservative government opposes the use of the name Sisters in Spirit and any work on a groundbreaking database on murdered and missing Aboriginal women cases, and this is impacting any future funding the Native Women's Association of Canada expects to receive for new projects on the issue.Sisters in SpiritNative Women's Association of Canada – Status of Women Canada officials said the rules for the funding's source program prevented the use of government money for research and policy work – They have asked that funding proposals not include the name Sisters in Spirit or any plans to use the money for the database. Fall 2013, Status of Women Minister Rona Ambroses announcement criticized by some front-line workers, victims' families, academics and opposition politicians over its lack of focus on Aboriginal women and its emphasis on giving more money and power to police.

15 Sisters in Spirit vigils are held every year to commemorate murdered and missing Aboriginal women and the Grandmother Moon logo is often prominently displayed at these national events.

16 Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children national police support centre for missing persons and unidentified remains won't be up and running until at least 2013 – the third branch of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children received $4 million of the $10 million set aside in the budget to deal with murdered and missing Aboriginal women received an additional $6 million for a total of $10 million over five years does not have a separate section dedicated for Aboriginal women

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18 Families of Sisters in Spirit shared a link. Sunday. OCT. 2ND IS IN 2 DAYS !!! Hoping they are going to start looking for her !!! Whats taking so long ? Landfill search for Nepinak to start in 2 weeks - Manitoba - CBC News The high profile search for Tanya Nepinak's remains will start Oct. 2 in Winnipeg's Brady Road landfill.

19 Families of Sisters in Spirit shared a link via Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada. 17 hours ago. NO !!!! I knew it was going to be SOMETHING !!!!!!!!! I JUST KNEW IT !!!! High winds postpone search for Nepinaks remains at Brady Landfill The search for Tanya Nepinaks remains at Brady Landfill has been postponed due to high winds.... - Local - Winnipeg Free Press.

20 Sunday. 15-year-old Cody Anne Anakons was last seen Saturday at 4:45 p.m. in the area of Dufferin Grove Park. She is described as an Aboriginal female, standing 5'9" tall and weighing 225 pounds. She has shoulder-length dark, straight hair. She was last seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt with blue-and-white horizontal stripes, blue jeans, grey Converse shoes and a red backpack. Police are concerned for her safety. The Toronto Police are asking the public for their assistance locating a missing girl. 15-year-old Cody Anne Anakons was last seen Saturday at 4:45 p.m. in the area of Dufferin Grove Park. She is described as an Aboriginal female, standing... See More


22 Donation increases reward for info in Morrison death Greg Horn Thu, Sep 27, 2012 The family of the late Tiffany Morrison announced this week that it has received a generous donation from a local businessman that will hopefully help catch the person or persons responsible for her death. Kaientá:a Cross donated $15,000 to the Morrison family, which has increased the reward for information that leads to the capture and conviction of a suspect in Morissons death to $25,000. I believe that justice needs to be found and let her rest in peace, Cross told Iorì:wase. Tiffanys family has been so strong and working so hard. I felt that it was the least I could do since I wasnt able to help in the past. Hopefully with the larger reward it will encourage someone to come forward with information. Morrison was last seen on June 18, 2006 after leaving a bar in LaSalle and taking a taxi back to Kahnawake. She was reported missing on July 4, 2006 and was 24 years old at the time of her disappearance. Her remains were found on May 31, 2010 near the Mercier Bridge..... Anyone with information is asked to call the Peacekeepers Tipline at 450-632-2802. Iorì:wase URL:





27 Families of Sisters in Spirit shared a link. September 13, 2013. ATTENTION ALL FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE: The Minister of Indian Affairs, Hon. John Duncan says that he has not heard any unfavourable responses to the funding cuts to First Nations. If you would like to provide such a response, he can be reached at; Member of Parliament, House of Commons Duncan, The Honourable John Confederation Building Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 Canada Telephone : 613-992-2503 Fax : 613-996-3306

28 The NWAC has called on the Government of Canada for several years now to conduct a National Public Inquiry; over these years, thousands of Canadians and organizations have responded in support of the necessity to document and resolve the situation of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

29 U.S. Human Rights Watch February 2013: released its report on treatment of Aboriginal women by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia Provides evidence of: 1.RCMP abuse and sexual abuse of native women in police custody. Some of the evidence could indict police officers for crimes against humanity. 2.A failure of law enforcement to protect indigenous women from abuse and crimes. 3. Police apathy and inaction in response to aboriginal womens disappearing. 4. Lack of aboriginal or civilian recourse to police inaction or wrongdoing, with the implication that the avenues of recourse served to cover the offending officers. 5. Instances of law enforcement and judiciary collusion in the abuse, rape and prostitution of aboriginal girls and women. Accounts give a clear impression of a society preying criminally on aboriginals as the price of inclusion in the ruling group. URL:

30 Revelations of the governments former Residential School policies which were clearly genocidal, met with official apologies, atonement, but no change in contemporary policies which disenfranchise both Aboriginals and the land itself. Human Rights Watch February 2013 aboriginal-women/5347218

31 Winter 2013 The RCMP is questioning the oft-cited claim by an aboriginal group and some federal politicians that about 600 aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada. The RCMP said they investigate all cases of missing and killed people regardless of sex, ethnicity, background or lifestyle and run special programs to investigate the aboriginal women file.

32 May 2013 The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP will examine policing issues in northern British Columbia, including officers use of force, police handling of missing-persons reports, and the treatment of young people. A civilian watchdog commission that oversees the RCMP is launching a public-interest investigation into the forces treatment of aboriginal women and girls – can look at whether some of the concerns raised in the report point to systemic problems in the RCMPs treatment of aboriginal women and girls in northern B.C. in response to the Report of NY-based Human Rights Watch

33 Summer 2013 A delegation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders met with Canada's premiers ahead of a two-day summit of the Council of the Federation in Niagara-on- the-Lake, Ont. – Absent from the meeting, however, were Alberta Premier Alison Redford, Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale, and Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak. The premiers at the table agreed to support the call of the Native Women's Association of Canada for a national public inquiry into this very, very important issue. – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne

34 Sex Trafficking August 21 headlines: Native Canadian women sold on U.S. ships, researcher says Report says First Nations women from Thunder Bay, Ont., trafficked in sex trade in Minnesota An American researcher says First Nations women from Thunder Bay, Ont., have been sold on ships in the harbour at Duluth, Minn. Christine Stark said the port at Duluth is notorious among First Nations people as a site for trafficking women. The masters student at the University of Minnesota Duluth said she has anecdotal reports of women, teenage girls and boys, as well as babies being sold on ships for sex – research is an offshoot of a 2007 report on prostitution in Minnesota, in conjunction with the Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition. – That report included interviews with 105 indigenous women in Minnesota who have been trafficked in the sex trade. The Ontario Native Women's Association says it also has anecdotal reports of women being trafficked across borders, or provincial boundaries, into the sex trade "The reason that indigenous women and girls are sometimes trafficked has to do with all of these ongoing issues like poverty," she said. "Another one of the large risk factors for indigenous women and girls is the lack of housing... women will sometimes engage in survival sex, not of their choice, in order to have somewhere to live."

35 Ottawa, ON (September 20, 2013). The Native Womens Association of Canada (NWAC) is stupefied that Canada is rejecting calls from the UN Human Rights Council for Canada to develop a comprehensive national review to end violence against Aboriginal women.

36 Sept. 2013 New Research Canadian government initiative to research family involvement in the trafficking of aboriginal women & girls "It's very cleverly designed to bring about results that will be blaming First Nations for murdered and missing and traded indigenous women Pam Palmater Chair, Centre for Indigenous Governance Ryerson University, Toronto

37 -number of systemic reasons why aboriginal women and girls are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation, including poverty - The purposeful chronic underfunding they have in communities that force people to live 20 to a home [with] not enough food to eat … creates situations of hopelessness which results in all of these situations Pam Palmeter, 4 September 2013 URL

38 Canada needs a National Public Inquiry and National Plan of Action to address violence against Aboriginal women and girls that has been going on for much too long in this country -- a country that is regarded as being as one of the best and safest places in which to live. NWAC Interim President, Dr. Dawn Harvard

39 The UN Human Rights Councils 2009 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommended Canada develop a comprehensive review, a call that was repeated in the 2013 UPR released earlier this year.

40 Canadas Official Response Canada is strongly committed to taking action with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups to prevent and stop violence against Aboriginal women and girls and there are many (federal-provincial- territorial government) legislative and administrative measures in place to address this pressing issue. (Provincial and territorial) governments have or are creating their own action plans to address violence, including violence against Aboriginal women and girls. There have been a number of inquiries and resulting proposals for improvements over the years. Canada is taking action to implement concrete solutions to prevent and reduce violence and improve community safety. In addition, race-based statistics are not recorded in a systematic matter across Canadas criminal justice system due to operational, methodological, legal and privacy concerns.

41 Canada Rejected... Canada rejected 40 out of 162 recommendations in the 2013 UPR, including some from Iran, Sri Lanka and Cuba. Also rejected #96: Develop a national plan of action to end violence against indigenous women and take the necessary measures to ensure that national protection laws against domestic violence are enforced at all levels in a consistent and effective manner. And #104: Develop a comprehensive national action plan for addressing violence against indigenous women, and, also, give due consideration to an independent national enquiry into missing indigenous women. (Ireland) And #105: Implement measures to ensure that the Aboriginality of victims of gender-based violence is accurately recorded.

42 The federal government, in its response to the UN, says that it doesnt collect race-based statistics on violence against women.

43 International Attention The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (of the Washington based Organization of American States) sent investigators to Canada early in August 2013. Previously the UNs Special Rapporteur on Hunger was sent to Canada to report on Aboriginal access to food and was publicly derided by the government. The UN Commission on Human rights will send its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya (U.S.), on October 12 -20, to report on Canadas fidelity to Aboriginal Treaty rights and communities. – Prof. Anaya, a graduate of Harvard Law, has taught there as well as university law schools of Iowa, Toronto, Tulsa and New Mexico.

44 Every October 4th, Sisters In Spirit Vigils across Canada: Honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls; Support grieving families and provide opportunities for healing; and, Is a movement for social change.

45 Welcome to the Sisters In Spirit Candlelight Vigil! For years, communities have pointed to the high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. As part of our commitment to the issue and to the countless families who are still in need of justice, NWAC is a lead organizer in Sisters In Spirit Vigils, a national movement that encourages concerned citizens and Aboriginal community members to gather on October 4th. We gather to honour our lost sisters and their families. We gather to show we are a united front. We gather to shed light on a crisis that affects every Canadian. We gather to pressure all levels of government to act and ACT NOW! We invite you, your organization and your community to join with us in solidarity every October 4th.

46 October 4 th, 2013 Local Mikmaw Chiefs and the Mikmaq Children and Family Service have asked to remember and honour missing and murdered Aboriginal men and boys, and missing Aboriginal families.

47 4 th October 2013, 4 – 7 pm Gather at Welkaqnik (de Wolfe house) then proceed to KCIC Garden Room, Acadia University The 4 th annual Community-Campus Gathering & Vigil to raise awareness about, remember & honour Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls

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