National Day of Awareness for MMIWG2S+ Casts Light on Intersections between Gender-Based Violence and Human-Caused Climate Crisis

News Release
May 5, 2022

National Day of Awareness for MMIWG2S+ Casts Light on Intersections between Gender-Based Violence and Human-Caused Climate Crisis

((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – May 5th, 2022). The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) marks the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG2S+ with a call to BC and Canada to uphold the sacred role of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit+ people and end colonial violence enmeshed in extractive industries fueling the climate crisis and gender-based violence.

“Indigenous women and girls are dying in the crossfire between the crises of human-caused climate change and the MMIWG2S+ crisis,” said Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer. “Once again Canada is called to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery that upholds colonial violence, to implement a nation-wide action plan to protect the Rights of Indigenous women – affirmed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) – and to take action to end the racism, sexism, misogyny, and gender-based violence that continues to culminate in the genocide of our women and girls.”

“As an Indigenous woman who has worked in male-dominated spaces throughout my life, I know in my heart that today cannot be merely about awareness, but requires education, healing, accountability, and action”, said Melissa Moses, UBCIC Women’s Representative. “The necessary steps to protect Indigenous women and cultivate safe spaces to live and work have been repeatedly communicated. It is time to move beyond pledges and make tangible progress on the country’s own commitments to end abuse and violence so that every Indigenous person can feel safe in pursuit of their livelihood.”

“The sexual and physical violence surrounding ‘man camps’ within the resource extraction industry in our remote communities can no longer be contested. These labour camps have gone without checks and balances from government or industry employers for far too long and are a violation of the sacredness of the land and our women, children, and gender-diverse relatives. The UBCIC upholds the National Inquiry’s findings and demands the strongest regulation to decolonize and end the violence stemming from these ‘man camps’ and industry once and for all,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President.  

“This government continues to support disastrous oil and gas infrastructure and resource extraction projects responsible for apocalyptic conditions of raging wildfires, widespread flooding, and life-threatening extreme heat. Meanwhile, the climate catastrophe is widening the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, intensifying the crises of gender-based violence, displacement, homelessness, poverty, and health,” said Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice-President. “Listen to the women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and youth who, despite being most at risk from the climate crisis and violence, demonstrate a courageous commitment to the land, climate justice, and safe communities for all.”

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Media inquiries:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 250-813-3315
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, c/o 778-866-0548
Melissa Moses, Women’s Representative, c/o 778-866-0548

UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca

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