News Release. March 8, 2012
Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC – The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is proud to celebrate International Women’s Day and highlight that Indigenous women are, and historically have been, integral to the success, livelihood and survival of our communities. Today, we acknowledge that Indigenous women continue to experience disproportionately high levels of violence, and assert that Indigenous women have the human right to personal safety and security, no matter what their socio-economic status may be.
Article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides that “States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of UBCIC points out “The unacceptable violence and discrimination that continues to be experienced by Indigenous women is rooted in systemic racism and ingrained colonialism, perpetuated through unacceptable government policies and legislation. Indigenous women experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on their indigeneity and gender. We need solid commitment from all levels of government for a zero-tolerance approach and a comprehensive, Indigenous-led strategy to end this inequity.”
Coola Louis, UBCIC Women’s Representative stated, “Indigenous women hold positions of high regard in our communities as givers of life who are integral and valued members of our societies. As a fundamental human right, Indigenous women must have every possible opportunity for success, as their success will exponentially increase the well-being of our communities.”
Terry Teegee, Vice-Chief of the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council concluded, “This week, the BC Government continues to show blatant disrespect for Indigenous women by continuing the sham Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Despite the withdrawal of Robyn Gervais, independent counsel representing Indigenous interests, the BC Government is carrying forward with a ‘business as usual’ attitude. The CSTC joins UBCIC and fully supports the urgent call for a Royal Commission for the over 500 murdered and missing women across this country.”
For further information please contact:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, UBCIC (604) 684-0231
Coola Louis, Women's Representative, UBCIC (604) 684-0231
Terry Teegee, Vice Tribal Chief, CSTC (250) 562-6279
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.