October 4th, 2015

Statement by Tom Mulcair in honour of the Sisters in Spirit Vigils

“On this day of the Sisters in Spirit Vigils, New Democrats stand with the Native Women’s Association of Canada and all those who grieve in honouring the lives of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada. New Democrats also join with people across Canada who are participating in the REDress Project, a powerful symbol of lost indigenous women and girls.

We not only believe that change is possible, change is necessary. Our Aboriginal Affairs critic, Niki Ashton, introduced a motion in Parliament calling for a full public inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and a national action plan to end violence against women. That motion was shamefully defeated by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

It is unconscionable to continue to deny families justice. These women and girls are not statistics, they are sisters, mothers, and daughters.

This is why an NDP government will call a national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women within our first 100 days in office. We will also work with women’s groups and indigenous communities and organizations to create a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan to end violence against women.

I am determined to begin a new era of relations with indigenous communities in Canada that embraces a true Nation-to-Nation relationship, built on respect and, above all, makes meaningful progress when it comes to bringing about change.

We have met with chiefs and elders to listen and hear their vision for building this new relationship. We also have a dedicated team, with a record 22 indigenous candidates running in this election, and we are ready to make change happen.”