October 4th is the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Today, we honour, remember, and grieve the Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people who’ve been murdered or who’ve gone missing. Today is a day to take action.
Thousands of Indigenous women have gone missing, and the related statistics are horrifying: Indigenous women and girls are three times more likely to experience violence, and six times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women and girls.
We believe in upholding the rights of the Indigenous people that we serve in Vancouver and the Downtown Eastside. The country, province, and city have a long history of failing and neglecting Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Our hearts are with those who have not only had to endure the pain of losing loved ones, but have also been forced to endure the government neglect and apathy that has followed and continued.
“Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated, “We’ve seen lots of lofty commitments, yet very little serious work to address the systemic violence faced by First Nations women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. We need a proper accountability framework and renewed relationships in place to do this difficult work. It’s been a year since the release of the National Action Plan to implement the Calls for Justice and there is still no concrete plan or timelines for implementation or measurement of outcomes.”
Read the rest of Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)’s press release from June of this year.
On this day National Day of Action, here are some ways you can take action:
- Read the 231 Calls for Justice.
- Write a letter or email to your government official to demand systemic change (referring to the 231 Calls for Justice). Change needs to happen at every level of government. Ask them to take action on not just addressing the violence but also preventing it.
- Support family and loved ones of MMIWG2S+ by sharing their stories, posters, fundraising campaigns, etc.
- Attend a local vigil or memorial to honour and remember those who have gone missing or have been murdered.
- Follow and amplify grassroots groups like UBCIC, Moose Hide Campaign, and Native Women’s Association of Canada, who are leading this work.