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In this federal election, equality issues are a focus for CUPE members. The plight of Aboriginal women in Canada requires political action, and the arrival of the Walk4Justice at Parliament Hill offers an opportunity to press political parties on the issue of violence against Aboriginal women. Social, economic and political inequality is at the root of this national crisis.

The group of determined walkers will arrive at Parliament Hill today, demanding justice for 3,000 murdered or missing Aboriginal women.

The Walk4Justice left Vancouver, BC on June 21. Participants have walked across Canada in memory of mothers, daughters, sisters and friends whose cases remain unresolved. Their journey will end today, as they present Prime Minister Stephen Harper with names and case information of over 3,000 women, along with resolutions passed by Aboriginal chiefs from coast to coast calling for a full public inquiry into the disappearances and deaths.

The walkers will also present a petition signed by over 2900 supporters.

Demands for an inquiry have been largely ignored by the federal Conservative government. In this election, we should demand that federal politicians support the need for a full public investigation with concrete proposals for judicial and law enforcement reform.

The NDP has been a long-time advocate for Aboriginal women’s issues. The NDP supports programs initiated and directed by Aboriginal women that develop community-led solutions to ending violence. They are also calling for an end to the 2% funding cap on social programming at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada that has left many women without adequate supports in their communities.

CUPE has supported the Walk4Justice on their journey across the country, and members of the National Aboriginal Council and the Rainbow Committee will join National President Paul Moist at the day of activities on Parliament Hill to demand action from the federal government. NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic Jean Crowder and NDP Labour Critic Libby Davies will join speakers from the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women’s Association starting at 10am.