UBCIC Press Statement: Honouring National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls During COVID Pandemic

Press Statement

May 5, 2020

 

Honouring National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls During COVID Pandemic

((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – May 5, 2020) Today marks the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and, under normal circumstances, people across Canada would be preparing marches, demonstrations, and memorials for the lives lost to an ongoing crisis of systemic violence.

“As COVID-19 has brought a halt to public and mass gatherings, it is absolutely essential to address and remember the cultural genocide of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals that must be stopped. Rates of domestic violence and abuse are rising on a global scale due to the social distancing and isolation measures in effect. Canada and B.C. must continue to ensure the appropriate resources, services, funding, and supports are in place and accessible to the countless Indigenous women, girls, and individuals facing situations of inescapable and intensified violence during the pandemic. The pandemic and its accompanying challenges have served to highlight the violence in Canada that has torn apart Indigenous communities and families for generations,” stated Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).  

“During this time of social distancing and isolation, when we are unable to meet and heal and support one another in person, it is vital we continue to raise our voices, hands, and hearts to the lives that have been lost to violence that is underpinned by a colonial legacy of discrimination, racism, and sexism. We must also take the time to acknowledge and raise our hands to the frontline organizations and workers who are still tirelessly supporting and protecting Indigenous women, girls, and other vulnerable community members during this difficult time. In a time of social distancing, we must remain connected and look out for one another,” stated Melissa Moses, UBCIC Women’s Representative.

If you fear for your safety or are in immediate, please call 911. If you are not in immediate danger, please refer to the links and resources below:

Call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 for information about all services that are available throughout the Province.

Battered Women’s Support Services can assist with emotional support, safety planning, and legal advocacy

    • Call at 604.687.1867 or toll free at 1-855-687-1868
    • If you’re unable to speak safely, please text 604-652-1867 or email intake@bwss.org

Ending Violence Association of BC: https://endingviolence.org/need-help/

National Inquiry’s report on MMIWG: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/:

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Centre https://www.niwrc.org/

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Media inquiries:

Judy Wilson, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer, 250-320-7738
Melissa Moses, UBCIC Women’s Representative, 808-428-0178

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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