AFN press releaseÂ
VANCOUVER, Feb. 16 â€“ Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo issued the following statement following the 19th Annual Women's Memorial March in Vancouver.
"It was a great honour to march along side our Indigenous Grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters and nieces paying respect to those who are no longer among us. We are aware of over 520 unsolved cases; for the families and friends of those murdered or missing, it is not acceptable that Canada has not acted, in a decisive fashion, to address this situation. As I tabled before Parliament late last year, the Assembly of First Nations advocates strongly for dedicated and urgent attention through launching a National Action Plan on Murdered and Missing First Nations women across Canada.
It is difficult for me to put into words the emotions I felt last Sunday marching among the grieving crowd and I provide you with a quote from Grand Chief Doug Kelly (Tseem Th'ewali) that he shared with me following the march":
"I was struck and amazed by the strength and the deep heartfelt love shared by the grandmothers, mothers, sisters, nieces and daughters that spoke today at today's memorial. In spite of their personal pain, grief, and sorrow, each of these powerful women reminded us to take care of one another, to teach our children the values that will sustain them, and to remember our loved ones that are missing or murdered.
Today, the leaders were reminded to remember. We were told about our job to speak for those that cannot speak for themselves. We were told to seek justice and not to give up until we achieve justice for not only missing and murdered women but those that prey on our children and perpetuate violence against our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, and granddaughters. Like you, I was honored to stand with our women. It was gratifying to see our colleagues standing together on this very important matter."
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, (418) 956-5720 or agaron[at]afn.ca