by E. Cain
It is a national tragedy that there have been over 600 disappearances and murders of Aboriginal women and girls across the country over the past 30 years.
To honour the lives of the victims, raise awareness and seek justice, Sisters in Spirit vigils are being held across the country – 2012 being the 7th year of observances. Tonight I attended the vigil in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. It took place directly before the annual Take Back the Night march and drew a strong showing of support.
As I listened to the victims’ family members speak so bravely about the memories of their loved ones, I felt sadness and anger at the blatant racism and discrimination that they continue to face.
The calls were very clear for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in this country. The government also needs to work with First Nations leaders to implement long-term solutions to end the systemic inequalities that continue to plague Aboriginal communities, including affordable housing, economic development, and supports for women.
I for one hope that in one of the Parliament Hill offices, just a couple feet away, there was a government MP listening to these calls and ready to push for action. But as one of the speakers put it: “I really hope that we don’t have to gather here again next year, but I doubt it, and we will continue to fight for justice.”