Statement from AFN Alberta Regional Chief Marlene Poitras
Today, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report, Reclaiming Power and Place.
The mandate of the commission was to investigate all forms of violence against Inuit, Metis and First Nations women and girls including two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (2SLGBTQQIA) people. The commission heard from families and survivors of violence from all across the country and makes concrete recommendations for the safety of individuals, families and communities.
“Today, many Canadians will be shocked by the reports finding as the report contains hard truths about genocide, colonization, murder and rape. Chief Commissioner Marion Buller stated that “the report is about deliberate race, identity, and gender-based genocide and is a national tragedy of epic proportions, (and) the truth is that we live in a country whose laws and institutions perpetuate violations of basic human and Indigenous rights. That is a national wake-up call,” stated Regional Chief Marlene Poitras, for the Assembly of First Nations Alberta region.
Regional Chief added, “The Final Report of the National Inquiry highlights the need to deal with the pathways to violence, those root causes such as marginalization, systematic failures and lack of will of governments and institutions to address these failures.
Regional Chief Poitras added this message to the families, “I met with government officials last week and advised that they need to work together with Indigenous people to ensure the report does not sit on a shelf. I will continue this advocacy. All levels of government, Indigenous leadership and all Canadians must work together to address the recommendations within the report immediately. This is our solemn responsibility. We must also ensure that the thousands upon thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous woman and girls are not forgotten.
“The Treaties that laid the foundation for Canada were meant to provide for peaceful co-existence between Indigenous peoples and settlers. It’s time, as stated in the report for all orders of government to work together to create a safe, healthy country for all, to provide opportunities for Indigenous peoples to rebuild their lives and for all Canadians to rethink commonly held stereotypes and confront racism in every context. That is a start to giving life to the sacred Treaty Principles,” concluded Regional Chief.