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Stolen sisters report released

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Birchbark Staff







Page 1

OTTAWA-Amnesty International has released a report stating "Canadian officials have too long ignored the threat to Indigenous women in Canadian towns and cities. Many are missing, some have been murdered, and Canadian authorities are not doing enough to stop the violence."

The report, Stolen Sisters: A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada, includes what the organization terms "wider public information" in reporting on murdered or missing Indigenous women and girls from Vancouver and other Western Canadian cities where there is a substantial Indigenous population and where there have been highly publicized violent incidents against these women.

Three themes come to light in the lengthy report:

* the heightened threat of violence created by the social and economic marginalization of Indigenous women within Canadian society;

* the frequent failure of both police and the justice system to provide adequate protection to Indigenous women

* evidence that some men are exploiting this vulnerability to specifically target Native women for acts of extreme brutality.

Responsibility is put on government to do something to protect Native women, bring violators to justice and change the social problems that lead to attacks on women's safety and dignity.

The recommendations:

* Acknowledge the seriousness of the problem-make the information public

* Support research into the extent and causes of violence against Indigenous women

* Take immediate action to protect women at greatest risk and identify and implement appropriate and effective protocols for action on missing persons cases

* Provide training and resources for police to make prevention of violence against Indigenous women a genuine priority

* Address the social and economic factors that lead to Indigenous women's extreme vulnerability to violence, and co-ordinate information-sharing on measures to address their safety and welfare

* End the marginalization of Indigenous women in Canadian society, and consult Indigenous women about the formulation and implementation of policies affecting their welfare and status.