News Release. December 6, 2012
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – December 6, 2012) Today the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) recognizes Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. In addition to remembering the 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal who were senselessly murdered in a gender-based act of violence, December 6th provides us with another opportunity to consider the horrific reality of violence against women in our society, and particularly, violence against Aboriginal women.
"We absolutely must come together and make a commitment to ending violence against women," said Coola Louis, UBCIC Women's Representative. "Aboriginal women suffer a disproportionately high rate of violence in Canada, facing systemic barriers including poverty, racism, and the multigenerational legacies of colonization and residential schools. When we hear the statistics that Aboriginal women are 3.5 times more likely to experience violence than non-Aboriginal women, collectively we must demand real solutions that address the underlying root causes."
Coola Louis will be speaking tonight at the SAFE Society Women in Violence vigil at Okanagan College, beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of UBCIC, stated, "In British Columbia the families of the murdered and missing women are still waiting for results from the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. It is our understanding that the BC Government will be sending a letter to the families via email, announcing the time and date of the release of the Commissioner Wally Oppal's report. Families will get copies of the final report one hour before it's broader release via email." He continued, "This callous, offensive, and dismissive approach by the BC Government to the families is a continuance of the institutional, denial-based barriers that desperately need to be removed if we are truly going to end violence against women."
For further information contact:
Coola Louis, Women's Representative, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (604) 684-0231
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (604) 684-0231
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.