August 19, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is once again extremely disheartened and discouraged to learn that the wrapped body, pulled out of the Red River, Manitoba on August 18, was that of 15 year-old Tina Fontaine, who had only very recently gone missing. And, just a week ago prior to this event, the remains of another young Aboriginal woman, Samantha Paul, was found near Kamloops, BC. “Every week now, we hear of another Aboriginal girl or woman, who has gone missing, to be found brutally murdered. This must stop!” exclaimed Michèle Audette, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).
As indicated in the recently released Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report, Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview, the total number of Aboriginal who have been identified as missing or murdered clearly indicates that they are over-represented among all of Canada’s missing and murdered women. “This is a national disgrace, a national tragedy and a travesty of justice for Aboriginal women and is an issue that all Canadians have to take ownership of,” said President Audette. NWAC, and its’ many supporters, have been relentless in its call for a national public inquiry and a comprehensive action plan to address this crisis. “With the ever increasing number of missing and murdered Aboriginal girls and women, there is an obvious need for a National Public Inquiry – nothing else will do,” said President Audette.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada.