Statement in honour of Sisters in Spirit Vigils across Canada

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New Democrat women’s critic Maurine Karagianis and New Democrat Aboriginal relations critic Doug Donaldson sent out the following statement to recognize the annual Sisters in Spirit vigils being held across Canada to honour the memory of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

“Every October 4 Canadians across the country gather to honour the memories of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Today is a day to reflect on our nation’s history of injustices against Aboriginal people and our government’s continuing complicity in the violence and discrimination that is still targeted at Aboriginal people, especially women, across the country.

“It has been almost a year since the B.C.’s Missing Women’s Commission delivered its recommendations, yet tragically, little action has been taken to prevent further violence against Aboriginal women in this province.

“In 2006 the Highway of Tears symposium urged the province to bring in a shuttle system along Highway 16 as a way to reduce dangerous hitchhiking. The Missing Women’s Commission, last year, recommended this shuttle service be implemented immediately. Instead of taking action, the government approved cuts to Greyhound bus service along the route.

“On this October 4, New Democrats are calling on the provincial government to honour the memories of the mothers, sisters, and daughters that were taken from their friends, families and loved ones by acting immediately to implement the recommendations of the Missing Women’s Commission report.

“Today we urge people across B.C. to come together and light a candle in memory of Canada’s missing and murdered Aboriginal women. We hope that these candles will also light a fire of resolve in our hearts to work to end the legacy of violence and discrimination against Aboriginal people in Canada.”