The vigils were organized by Sisters in Spirit, a research and education project initiated by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) to investigate the alarmingly high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
CUPE’s long-standing support for Sisters in Spirit continued this year, including at the Ottawa vigil on Parliament Hill. CUPE members and staff raising their voices on the Hill included Joanne Webb, CUPE Ontario Aboriginal Diversity Vice-President and National Aboriginal Council Senator, Carol Chapman, CUPE 3550 President, and CUPE 3550 member Gloria Chapman.
Before the Conservative government cut their funding, Sisters in Spirit tracked nearly 600 deaths and disappearances. NWAC is calling on the federal government to hold a national inquiry into the epidemic. Delegates at our 2011 and 2013 National Conventions made the issue of missing and murdered women a priority for our union, including calling for a national public inquiry.
This year also marked the 10th anniversary of grassroots support group Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS). The group is led by and for families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, and is based in Ottawa on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples.
- Learn more about how to call for action and support the families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls at october4th.ca and at the Families of Sisters in Spirit Facebook page