For immediate release
December 6, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is issuing this statement in recognition of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day falls on December 6 each year in remembrance of a horrific act of violence against 14 women who were murdered in Montreal on December 6, 1989, simply because they were women.
MKO is encouraging Manitoba residents to remember these women and to learn more about the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) along with Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people.
“Earlier this year the National Inquiry looking into the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls wrapped up and delivered it’s final report with 231 calls for justice,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “MKO has been sharing the calls for justice every day since July 1, Canada Day. We thought it would be a good way to help people learn more about which calls for justice might apply to them. It is fitting that we shared the final call for justice on December 6.”
MKO’s Northern Chiefs have passed multiple resolutions in 2019 that direct MKO to advocate on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This includes a January 2019 resolution on addressing racism, discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence against Indigenous community members at past and present hydroelectric development projects in Northern Manitoba, a resolution from August 2019 that directs MKO to advocate for all 231 Calls for Justice to be implemented by all levels of government, and a November 2019 resolution calling on the province to end birth alerts and all related policies that negatively impact First Nations women and families.
“It is clear that leadership from Northern Manitoba has ongoing concerns about the safety and well-being of First Nations women and girls,” stated Grand Chief Settee. “MKO remembers female victims of violence on December 6, but we take this opportunity to remind Manitoba residents and elected officials that Indigenous women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by high rates of violence. Let’s work together to acknowledge this violence and to take steps to reduce and ultimately end it.”
MKO’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Liaison Unit is hosting a rally today at 12 noon on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building to raise awareness on the need for action.