For Immediate Release
Sudbury Residents Honour Indigenous Women Murdered or Missing in Canada
SUDBURY, ONTARIO, February 14, 2008 – Hundreds of Indigenous women in Canada have been murdered or have gone missing over the last 20 years. All too often, the authorities have done little or nothing in response.
A coalition of concerned Sudbury residents, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, seek to change this. On Thursday, February 14, between 1 pm and 4 pm, community members will gather in Memorial Park for a rally, conversation, speeches, and drumming. At 2 pm, they will honour missing Indigenous women with a Strawberry Ceremony.
At 6:30 pm at the main branch of the Sudbury Public Library the coalition will screen the film Finding Dawn. This documentary, directed by Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh, illustrates the deep historical, social, and economic realities of colonization that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in Canada.
In this cross-country day of action, Sudbury residents will be joining Indigenous women and allies in Vancouver, Toronto, London, Sault Saint Marie, Edmonton, and Winnipeg to mark and memorialize the deaths and disappearances of women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside as well as the many other Indigenous women missing across the country. In coordination with the national No More Silence network, they will come together in defense of Indigenous lives and in protest of the complicity of the government of Canada and its institutions – the police, RCMP, coroner’s offices, and courts – in the ongoing violence against First Nations peoples.
Indigenous communities are overpoliced and Indigenous women make up the fastest growing prison population, yet the deaths of First Nations women consistently go uninvestigated and their killers unfound. A recent report from Amnesty International on the widespread violence against Indigenous women in Canada confirms that the exact number of murders and disappearances is unknown because police have not kept adequate records. And in cases where they have kept records, ongoing irregularities, gaps in information, and insensitive and racist treatment of the families are the norm.
No More Silence aims to develop a national network of local coalitions of Indigenous women and allies to stop the disappearances.