Stolen Sisters vigil to be held in Rimbey at the Beatty House on Oct. 4

October 4 marks 10 years since Amnesty International released a ground-breaking report, “Stolen Sisters"

Submitted

October 4 marks 10 years since Amnesty International released a ground-breaking report, “Stolen Sisters: A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada.

The report shone a light on a little-known Canadian human rights crisis. It exposed the discrimination and impoverishment fueling violence against indigenous women; and it promoted solutions that indigenous women and communities have brought forward.

Much has changed in the past decade.

● October 4 has become a national day to commemorate the lives of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.  On that day in 2013 over 200 vigils were held across Canada.

● Many cross-country walks have been held to raise awareness.

● Tens of thousands of signatures on petitions calling for action have been handed over to the federal government.

● Provincial and territorial governments have called for a national inquiry.

● Two federal Parliamentary Committees have studied the scope of the violence.

● The issue has been repeatedly raised at the United Nations.

● Three international missions came to Canada in 2013 to investigate the issue.

● Earlier this year the RCMP, for the first time ever, reported figures on the scope of the violence. (Their record puts the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls in Canada over the past 20 years at more than 1000).

What is missing is a national response in keeping with the scale and seriousness of the violence.  What is needed is a coordinated national action plan on violence against women, and a national public inquiry to ensure accountability.

Taken from the September, 2014 issue of “activist”, the publication for AI members in Canada.

To take action to help bring about change, WHAT CAN WE DO?

We can attend the candlelight vigil honoring our “Stolen Sisters” at the Beatty House in Rimbey at 7:30 PM on Saturday, October 4.

We can visit the table of the Rimbey Group of Amnesty International at the October 4 Farmers’ Market to learn more about this human rights crisis in our country.

We can build pressure for a public inquiry and an action plan by the federal government by signing letters to the appropriate departments in Ottawa. {Letters will be available for signing at the Farmers’ Market and the Vigil.)