It is a busy time in our community with bringing in harvest, following election activities, and the start of a new school year, but we would like to ask readers to pause a moment with us on Oct. 4 and recognize a situation in our country that begs our attention.
The 3rd annual Sisters In Spirit Vigil will be taking place on Oct. 4, 2008 in over 30 communities across Canada. Amnesty International Rimbey is pleased to be part of this initiative by hosting a candle lighting vigil at the Beatty House property at 8 p.m. on that evening.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) launched the national Sisters in Spirit Campaign in March of 2004 to raise public awareness of the alarmingly high rates of violence against aboriginal women in Canada. NWAC believes we are in an urgent state of affairs with regards to the safety of aboriginal women. They are now starting the fourth year of a five-year contribution agreement with the federal government. NWAC, along with the support of a number of groups across the country including Amnesty International, are targeting root problems and developing programs to help families and raise awareness. They are working to improve the human rights of aboriginal (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) women and address the violence, in particular the high rates of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.
In October 2004, Amnesty International issued a report titled, Stolen Sisters: A Human Response to Discrimination and Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada. The report documented the fact that deep-rooted patterns of marginalization and discrimination have put many indigenous women at risk of violence and denied them the full protection of the law. Government statistics show that indigenous women face a much higher risk of violence than other women.
Everyone is invited to come and light a candle at the Beatty House on Oct. 4th to remember the missing and murdered aboriginal women across our country. Candles will be provided. The event will last one hour. Refreshments will be served.