Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
MKO is committed to working along side with families, communities and leadership towards ensuring the upcoming national inquiry is inclusive of our northern communities. We are also working with the federal government to support immediate actions aimed at addressing a root causes that result in violence against Indigenous women and girls.
There is no greater pain then not knowing what has happened to a loved one. Unfortunately, this is all to common in the Indigenous community where the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch has noted a crisis level of violence against Indigenous women and girls. In fact, the new Liberal government has noted that the amount of Murdered and Missing women could be higher then 4000 victims. Many of these cases have not been solved. What is even more alarming is that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have noted that the government has failed in ensuring that Indigenous women and girls are provided with the same standard of safety as experienced by other Canadians. This has been acknowledged by the current Liberal government who will be launching a National Inquiry as early as July to explore issues that have resulted in our current crisis.
MKO leadership is committed to supporting the efforts of our northern families in their search for answers. We recognize that our families cannot rest until they know what has happened to their loved ones. As such, addressing the issue of the MMIW is one of the key priority areas of MKO. It is our hope that this will result in a realization of programs and services that support a reduction in violence experiencing by Indigenous women and girls in the future.
In August 2014 Canadians were shocked when the body of a young teenager, Tina Fontaine, washed up onto the banks of the Red River. The media attention that accompanied this discovery galvanized an awareness in Canada of an all too common phenomena: Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW). Moved by what I had read in the papers, I took my camera to the banks of the Red River where an ad hoc group of local Native peoples were dragging the Red River search for missing loved ones. It was there that I met TV journalist, Sheila North Wilson, a Cree woman from the Oxford House First Nation, who has championed this issue of MMIW for many years. Together we decided to produce a film that would try to answer the haunting question: “Why have so many young Indigenous people been murdered or gone missing. And why has this met with such indifference in Canada?”