Union Calls for National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women



The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378 (MoveUP) is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to hold a national public inquiry on the hundreds of cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.

According to the Native Women’s Association of Canada, which recently delivered a petition signed by 23,000 Canadians supporting their call for an inquiry, a minimum of 582 indigenous women have been confirmed missing or murdered in Canada. However, they note recent reports show the number could be closer to 800.

“In the last six months in Canada, eight Aboriginal women have been murdered,” said MoveUP Board member and Human Rights Committee Chair Joyce Galuska, “This is an issue that has been going on for far too long and it hasn’t been dealt with.”

“This issue is important to me as a First Nations woman, but it really touches all of our communities,” said Galuska.

Galuska noted the government has ignored repeated calls for such an inquiry, despite local, national and international pressure. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN have all weighed in to condemn government inaction on this issue. In 2013, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, concluded that a national inquiry is needed to examine the “disturbing phenomenon” of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“An inquiry is necessary to ensure justice for missing and murdered indigenous women and their families. We need to determine the best ways to address the root causes of the violence, as well as identify areas where our justice system is still failing victims,” Galuska added.

Galuska notes that MoveUP has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Harper on the issue and is encouraging union members to send their own emails.

“Our failure here is truly our national shame, and it’s time for Harper to finally get the message.”

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Media Contact: Jarrah Hodge, jhodge@moveuptogether.ca

MoveUP’s Campaign Page, “Justice for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women”: https://moveuptogether.ca/campaign/justice-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women