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Moving from denial to justice: OPSEU responds to MMIWG National Inquiry

Illustration of a red dress with a Indigenous circle logo and an OPSEU SEFPO logo

OPSEU is calling on the federal government to act swiftly on the recommendations of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.  After two and a half years of testimony from experts, survivors and families, The inquiry issued the report this week. It characterizes the violence inflicted against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, as genocide.  The report makes more than 230 recommendations.

OPSEU considers the findings of the national inquiry to be long overdue.  Resolutions were passed at OPSEU’s annual Convention over the past few years calling for a full inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas says the recommendations in the report should be acted on without delay.

“While the use of the term genocide in the report may be difficult for many Canadians to accept, it is important we get beyond the denial and implement all of the recommendations contained in the report,” said Thomas.

The OPSEU Affirmation of Principles on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights recognizes that Indigenous peoples attribute cultural importance to women and give them a high level of respect and authority within Indigenous cultures. As a result, their cultures have functioned with great balance and harmony for thousands of years.

Krista Maracle, Chair of the OPSEU Indigenous Circle reminds all Canadians that “restoring honour and respect to Indigenous women and the crucial role they play in Indigenous cultures is vital if we are serious about reversing the effects of colonial genocide.”

The OPSEU Indigenous Circle ReDress campaign is creating a wave of pressure on the federal government to fully implement all the recommendations contained in the report.

The campaign makes a Red Dress pin available to any member who requests one and is also planning a rally on Parliament Hill by the end of 2019 where petitions and postcards will be brought to apply pressure to the government to ensure that the MMIWG Inquiry results in justice and healing for the families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Girls and 2SLGBTQQI people.

More than 50 OPSEU Locals have already supported the campaign and momentum is growing until justice is achieved for survivors and their families.