NWAC: Winnipeg Killings Underline Why Government Must Step Up Response to Genocide Against Indigenous Women, Girls & 2SLGBTQQIA+
December 2, 2022
OTTAWA – A statement from the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), on the killings of four Indigenous women in Winnipeg:
“We are all shocked and saddened by the fact that one man has been accused of four killings. That is why these crimes are receiving media attention.
But, the sad fact is that young Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people are being murdered and going missing with horrific regularity, and at disproportionate rates, across this country, and across the Americas.
Let’s be clear, these crimes are part of the genocide that was declared in 2019 by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The government offered a national action plan in response to that report which lacked any devoted funding, timelines, or measurable goals. And a report card released last Spring by the Native Women’s Association of Canada found, predictably, little progress had been achieved.
The most recent crime statistics released in 2020 tell us that the homicide rate for Indigenous people is still seven times higher than that for non-Indigenous people. The fact that it remains so high is a Canadian human-rights failure.
Each one of these women killed in Winnipeg was somebody’s beloved daughter, or mother, or sister, or friend. Their families have been grieving their loss for many months.
And as we learn about the four killings, we must never forget that each one of these women was a human being … with hopes and dreams and a life that she should have been permitted to live. These women are not just a faces in a newspaper or on a television set. Nor are they just crime statistics.
Their deaths serve as horrific proof that serious actions must be taken to stop these crimes. They explain why the government cannot just hold an inquiry and say: “Job done.” The inquiry was just the first step. Now it is time for serious action.”
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