FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTREAL, OCTOBER 4, 2016 – Marchers will take to the streets on October 4th for the 11th year in a row to demand justice for Indigenous women who are 7 times more likely to be victims of homicide than non-Indigenous women. The march, which will begin at Place Émilie-Gamelin at 6pm, is organized by the grassroots solidarity group Missing Justice, a campaign of the Centre for Gender Advocacy. The annual march was founded in 2005 by Bridget Tolley whose mother Gladys Tolley was killed by a Sureté du Québec officer in 2001 and now takes place in communities across Canada. The aim of this annual march is to honour the memories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, raise awareness about the systemic nature of the violence and the ways in which media, governments, the legal system, police forces, and the education system all facilitate this violence.
While many have been encouraged by the recently launched National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, organizers of the march want to draw attention to the concerns that have been voiced by Indigenous organizations, family members and advocates. The Native Women’s Association of Canada, for instance, has raised concerns about the limited support provided to families and survivors participating in the process, as well as the fact that the inquiry does not provide an avenue for families to pursue or reopen cases through the justice system, and fails to mention the role of the provinces and territories. Quebec Native Women has also called for a Quebec inquiry which would examine the systemic nature of violence, as well as police practices in the province, especially in light of the cases of police abuse against Indigenous women in Val d’Or.
Organizers of the march wish to support and echo the voices of Indigenous communities and family members who demand real systemic change and justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The march will feature several Indigenous leaders, activists and performers including Melissa Mollen-Dupuis and Ellen Gabriel who will share their perspectives on the inquiry process, discuss ongoing violence against Indigenous women, as well as their hopes for a more just society that will honour and respect them.
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Centre for Gender Advocacy / Missing Justice
Stacey Gomez (English): (438) 404-4458
Mélanie Radilla (French): (514) 918-7915