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More than a thousand people marched on Parliament Hill on July 5 to protest of the federal government’s failure to take decisive action to address Canada’s high number of missing or murdered Aboriginal women.

CUPE was there to show solidarity with the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and organizers of Women’s Worlds 2011, who worked together to put on the rally.

Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, president of the NWAC, addressed the crowd and called on the federal government to commit resources to find the missing women. “We are gathered here to show our solidarity, to stand together, and to speak out against the violence that continues to harm Aboriginal women and girls across Canada,” said Lavell.

Women’s Worlds is a triennial international feminist conference, held this year in Ottawa-Gatineau July 3-7 with over 1500 participants. CUPE was a sponsor of the event.

CUPE is also a long-standing supporter of the NWAC and their Sisters In Spirit project, which conducts research and raises awareness of the alarmingly high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada..

There are more than 582 Aboriginal women and girls missing or murdered across the country.