voltairine: (raeg)
[personal profile] voltairine
"Four hundred years after colonial powers landed here, on unceded Mohawk territory, it is still not safe for Indigenous women to walk these streets. Four hundred years after British and French colonists raped and killed Indigenous women with impunity, Indigenous women remain five times more likely to die a violent death than women of other ethnicities.

A recent study by the Native Women’s Association of Canada found that many victims are targeted simply because they are Indigenous. Their attackers assume they will not fight back or be missed. But as we have seen today, Indigenous women do fight back. And they are missed. The tragic, needless deaths of between 580 and 3000 Indigenous women since the 1980’s, is a human-rights crisis of epidemic proportions. This disproportionate level of violence must be understood in the context of a colonial strategy that has sought to dehumanize Indigenous women, with the ultimate goal of appropriating First Nations’ lands and resources.

Généralement, lorsque qu’une femme blanche disparaît, l’état, les médias, la police et la société travaillent conjointement pour faire connaître cette situation et pour la résoudre. En ce qui concerne les femmes autochtones, nous n’avons pas connaissance du nombre de femmes qui sont disparues ou qui ont été assassinées.

Why don’t we know how many Indigenous women have been taken from us?

Les rapports inadéquats de la police et des médias ainsi qu’un manque d’intérêt de la part du gouvernement dans ses actes politiques ont causé cette intense disparité statistique. Plus de 300 cas connus restent irrésolus et ce, en raison du racisme systémique au niveau gouvernemental et du système judiciaire, de la police, des médias et de la société canadienne dans son ensemble.

Why don’t we know where their killers are?

(pause)

Why don’t we know where their killers are?

Nous marchons aujourd’hui pour rendre honneur à toutes les femmes qui ont été portés disparues ou qui ont été assassinées et plus particulièrement aux femmes qui ont été marginalisées et maltraitées par notre société. Les siècles d’empiètement sur les territoires autochtones est une cause directe du taux anormalement élevé de la pauvreté auxquels sont confrontées les populations autochtones. L’exploitation des terres ainsi que des peuples autochtones continuent malheureusement d'alimenter l'économie canadienne.

As a solidarity collective, Missing Justice strives to support demands already made by Indigenous activists, the families of victims, Native organizations, and international bodies including the UN and Amnesty International. We demand a public investigation, adequate funding for research, support for Native-run women’s centres and shelters, and anti-oppression training for police.

Canadian society is at a turning point. We are taking responsibility for these legacies together. We will no longer shut our eyes to this violence and marginalization. We will no longer stand back as Indigenous women are abducted and killed. We will no longer allow their killers to roam the streets.

Indigenous women’s lives are valuable. Today we have marched in their honour. We continue to march in their memory. This is why we are here."

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voltairine

May 2011

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