PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5th, 2022
WINNIPEG – The National Family Survivors Circle (NFSC) calls on all Canadians to take action to mark the National Day of Awareness and Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People on May 5, 2022. On this day, also known as Red Dress Day, families and survivors bring attention to the alarming number of lives lost to murder and the continuance of violence — a genocide where the numbers are increasing with each day of inaction.
“Ending this national crisis cannot be the fight of just families and survivors — every single person in this country must work to end race and gender-based violence.” said Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, Chair of the NFSC.
According to a report from Statistics Canada published last week, more than six in 10 Indigenous women experience either physical or sexual assault in their lifetime, and 46 per cent experience sexual assault. In addition, 81 per cent of Indigenous women who had been in the child-welfare system had been physically or sexually assaulted in their life.
June 3, 2022 is the third anniversary of the release of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. However, most of the 231 Calls for Justice are yet to be fulfilled, including Call for Justice 1.7 which would keep governments accountable through a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson. This lack of action leaves all Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people more vulnerable to violence than ever.
“As we approach the first anniversary of the release of the National Action Plan and Federal Pathway, it is more urgent than ever to ensure that Red Dress Day is a ‘day of action’ for all,” said Anderson-Pyrz.
The NFSC calls on governments, institutions, and all Canadians to begin actioning the 231 Calls of Justice:
- Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area (Call for Justice 15.2)
Learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today.
- Confront and speak out against racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia (Call for Justice 15.5)
Call out discrimination and ignorance, and teach others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.
- Hold governments accountable (Call for Justice 15.8)
Help hold all governments accountable to act on the Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the important principles we set out.
“Everyone has the right to live in dignity and safety and Indigenous people have inherent rights to maintain and practice their identity and culture,” said Anderson-Pyrz. “We all have a collective responsibility to end this genocide, and we are all part of the solution.”
About the National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC)
The NFSC comprises First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women from diverse backgrounds who use their lived expertise to advocate for centering the voices of families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, survivors of gender-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and made significant contributions to the 2021 National Action Plan. They urge all governments, organizations, and people to implement the 231 Calls for Justice from the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and for their impact to be felt on the ground by families and survivors.
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