Joint Statement from Ontario's Delegation at the Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Ontario's delegation at the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released the following statement today:
"Too many Aboriginal women and girls have experienced violence, been murdered or gone missing. Too many Aboriginal girls spend their lives in constant fear that they will join their family members and friends as just another statistic. This can no longer be tolerated.
That is why Ontario's delegation, including family members and representation from the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, Ontario Native Women's Association, Métis Nation of Ontario, and the Independent First Nations, came to the table today - to bring forward concrete actions we can take collectively and collaboratively to prevent the violence from continuing. Today's roundtable reinforced the need for a collaborative, pan-Canadian solution to this national issue.
Ontario has identified 10 proposed actions that we can take right now to improve the situation for Aboriginal women and girls, including the creation of a pan-Canadian public awareness campaign and a socio-economic action plan for Aboriginal women and girls. Leaders of Canada's provinces and territories and National Aboriginal Organizations have agreed that such a plan is necessary to address the root causes of violence. Having the federal government's participation in that plan is critical.
To end violence against Aboriginal women and girls, we need all partners working together and committing to taking joint action. We need co-ordinated engagement between Aboriginal, provincial, territorial and federal governments to support awareness and prevention, community safety and healing, and improved police and justice responses.
We have also heard the call for a forum for hearing and healing from the families and Aboriginal organizations here today. We have begun this process in Ontario, and we support the call for national forums for the families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in today's roundtable, and all of our partners across the country. None of us alone can put an end to violence against Aboriginal women and girls, but if we work together, we are confident we can make meaningful progress."