Lack of concrete action by the federal government regarding calls to action in the one-year-old national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will be the focus of a “public call” led by Lynn Gehl at the constituency office of Maryam Monsef, federal minister for Women and Gender Equality, this Friday, June 19.
June 3 marked the one year anniversary of the report which issued 231 calls. Human rights advocates, Indigenous women’s organizations, and Indigenous thought leaders such as the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Quebec Native Women, Sharon McIvor, Pamela Palmate want to know what is Canada’s response, and where is Maryam Monsef on this matter, says Gehl, in a June 15 press release. The Liberal government has earned a failing grade, she said.
The press release states:
“Two public inquiries concluded Canada’s genocide continues to unfold through physical, biological, and cultural means; that the Holocaust model must not be the barrier to understanding the different manifestations of genocide. While premeditated biological and physical genocide are horrific acts, cultural genocide continues to unfold through standard operating procedures, practices, policies, and laws. The MMIWG inquiry also concluded ‘inaction’ or ‘acts of omission’ are in fact acts of genocide.
These women’s organizations and leading thinkers are calling for concrete action. If Canada continues to ignore the need for a comprehensive action plan, Canada will continue to be guilty of genocide. Maryam Monsef must also act beyond consultation, otherwise, through her inaction she becomes complicit in the Canadian-made genocide.
Monsef must immediately act for all Indigenous women and girls across Canada, with a focus on how a national plan will serve Indigenous women and girls and their families at the local level in communities such as in her Peterborough-Kawartha riding. One such action must be guaranteed funding for women’s organizations such as Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle, providing assistance to women and their descendants in gaining Indian status registration, and special measures for women and girls with disabilities who experience a higher rate of sexual violence. These suggestions can be further explored, but Minister Monsef has ignored requests for a meeting.”
Gehl said she will be installing her art at the public call on Friday, and will be willing to speak with community members answering their questions about what exactly constitutes genocide, and how cultural genocide continues to manifest in Canada’s land claims and self government policies. Monsef’s office is at 417 Bethune Street. Social distancing will be practised.
Here is the facebook event page for further information: https://www.facebook.com/events/544556429547521. Come and stand with Indigenous women and girls.