(October 4, 2018) – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley issued the following statement on the Sisters in Spirit vigils for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls:
“Today, across Canada, survivors of violence, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons, grandmothers and grandfathers, friends and community supporters will extend hearts and hands across the chasm of loss in an emotional act of remembrance and resolve.
“They will come together at candlelight vigils, rallies and community gatherings to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The Sisters in Spirit vigils bear witness to this national tragedy and offer solace to families and communities that have suffered the devastating loss of so many loved ones.
“Our government takes this issue to heart. We’ve invested in women’s shelters so that no one will be turned away, and in sexual assault centres and violence-prevention programs so that survivors have greater access to counselling, police and court supports.
“We also passed the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act so that survivors of domestic violence can legally break a residential lease. And we’ve given survivors of sexual violence better access to the legal system by removing the time limit to bring forward civil claims.
“In the spirit of reconciliation, our government apologized in 2015 for the legacy of residential schools. In May of this year, we apologized to survivors of the Sixties Scoop.
“Our greatest hope is that these vigils, along with better supports for women, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Alberta’s Taking Action Against Racism plan and resolute efforts at every level of society, will help achieve meaningful action to ensure the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls here in Alberta and across Canada.
“I ask Albertans to join me in taking time to remember these women and girls – cherished sisters, mothers, daughters, granddaughters – and all who seek and mourn for them. In their ever-present memory, let us make the world a safer place.”