Toronto – May 19, 2014 – The United Nations has issued a report calling on the Harper government to hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says the plight of Aboriginal nations in Canada has “reached crisis proportions” and is something which all levels of government need to address immediately.
UFCW Canada, the nation’s most progressive union, has continuously demanded justice for the families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Our union is an integral partner in the Inquiry NOW! campaign, which calls on the federal government to launch an immediate inquiry, and UFCW Canada member activists have participated in numerous events such as the Strawberry Ceremony in Honour of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women.
Recently, the RCMP revealed that police have recorded nearly 1,200 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women during the past three decades - more than double the number that was previously believed to be true. Despite the crisis, Harper shamelessly refuses to even consider the demand for an inquiry. In the UN report, Mr. Anaya also calls on the federal government to extend the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into the tragic legacy of the residential school system, as well as ensuring meaningful consultation with Aboriginal nations prior to resource extraction projects.
“As Canada’s leading union, we have a duty to demand justice for all Aboriginal peoples across this country,” says Paul Meinema, UFCW Canada National President, “The struggle to secure the basic human rights and dignity of Aboriginal communities and to demand governmental accountability is crucial to the fight for social justice.”