NDP applauds investigation on violence against Aboriginal women
MPs send letter inviting UN Committee investigating violence to visit affected communities
February 17, 2012
OTTAWA — Alarmed by the growing number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, fifty-three New Democrat MPs sent a letter of support to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which has opened an inquiry on the issue.
Deploring the Conservative government’s inaction on the file, the signatories applauded the Committee for establishing clear objectives to investigate violence against First Nations, Inuit and Métis women. “We encourage the Government of Canada to fully cooperate with the Committee,” their letter said. “We must act now.”
The letter was co-written by NDP Leader Nycole Turmel, Status of Women Critic Françoise Boivin, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Critic Linda Duncan. Fifty New Democrat colleagues added their signatures to the letter.
“(We must) address the problem of violence through coordinated strategic interventions on several fronts, including the elimination of poverty, children’s aid, education, housing, missing and murdered Aboriginal women, the legal system, community healing, the empowerment of Aboriginal women and concern about the effects of systemic racism,” the letter said.
The signatories encouraged the Committee to visit Canada as early as possible to carry out their investigation in the communities concerned. “We believe there are real, viable and practical solutions coming from the advice of Aboriginal women themselves,” the letter concluded.