Statement by Minister Bennett on the 30th Anniversary of the Women's Memorial March

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OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 14, 2021 /CNW/ – The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, issued the following statement today:

“On February 14th we remember the mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunties, and friends who are no longer with us. Our hearts are with the families, survivors and communities as they share their stories and come together to support one another.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Women’s Memorial March that started in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to commemorate the loss of Indigenous women and girls. Each year at noon on this day, Elders lead a memorial walk and lay roses at the locations where Indigenous women and girls went missing or were murdered. The March has grown over the years to include communities across Canada to draw attention to the need for action.

We want families, survivors and communities to know that we are working to put in place concrete actions to stop this national tragedy. Over 100 Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are working in partnership with governments to develop the National Action Plan and address the issues identified by the Final Report of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

Central to our work is the National Family and Survivors Circle, comprised of First Nations, Inuit and Métis families and survivors of gender-based violence from across Canada. A fundamental principle that the Circle upholds is ‘nothing about us, without us,’ which puts families and survivors at the centre of the development, implementation and accountability of the National Action Plan. We are grateful for the Circle’s guidance and support as we move forward.

While our shared work on the different components of the National Action Plan continues, the Government of Canada is supporting Indigenous-led initiatives with the mutual goal to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, including recent initiatives:

  • support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis to take control of child and family services;
  • building new shelters for Indigenous women and girls; and,
  • extended support for Family Information Liaison Units and community-based organizations to continue providing specialized services to families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Valentines Day can be a difficult time for those who have lost a loved one, or those living with the threat of violence. We all have a role to play to  ensure that  First Nations, Inuit and Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are safe and secure in their home communities and in our urban centres. All governments, institutions, organizations and individual Canadians must continue to work together to end this tragedy.”

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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada

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Statement by Minister Bennett on the 30th Anniversary of the Women's Memorial March WeeklyReviewer
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