Snuneymuxw walks in solidarity for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
SNUNEYMUXW TERRITORY/NANAIMO B.C. – For far too long Indigenous women and girls go missing or are murdered at higher rates than non-Indigenous women and girls, causing tremendous pain and sorrow among Indigenous families and Indigenous Nations without any meaningful corrective action taken from the federal and provincial governments. Canadian laws and public policy do not integrate mechanisms that are preventative, rehabilitative or restorative to the disproportionality of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Chief Mike Wyse states “We are in a human rights crisis in this country. Women are the caregivers who become matriarchs of families. Canadian laws and public policy, have for centuries, work to eliminate Snuneymuxw way of life and values starting with settlement and colonization, the unilateral imposition of the oppressive and destructive Indian Act, and Canadian public policy. Snuneymuxw First Nation honours the life of Indigenous women and girls, and take a moment of silence to remember those that have crossed over to be with Ancestors and the courage of the survivors. We lift up their place in our culture and are the backbone of our Nation, always and forever.” Councillor Erralyn Joseph shares that “the social and legal injustices to Indigenous women and girls weigh heavily on our hearts and minds on this day that brings national awareness for MMIWG, and everyday. Canada must act swiftly with addressing the challenges and shortcoming with developing an MMIWG National Action Plan, and with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. British Columbia must move forward decisively to implement Bill 41 – Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. These are important transitionary steps out of the colonial atrocities that contribute to MMIWG, and implement traditional values, jurisdiction and authority. We must do this now so that our young people and the generations unborn have a fundamental chance at life.”
Indigenous women and girls are more likely to be victims of violence at a catastrophically higher rate than non-Indigenous women and girls. The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls includes a call to action for a MMIWG National Action Plan.
Chief Mike Wyse
Snuneymuxw First Nation