Deputy and Grand Chief appreciationUOI OFFICES   –  The conservative government is costing Canada its  perceived reputation as a champion of human rights.

That was Anishinabek Nation Deputy Grand Chief Glen Hare’s reaction to the Harper government’s rejection of a United Nations Human Rights Council recommendation that Canada develop a national plan of action to end violence against Aboriginal women.

“This government is not practicing what it’s preaching to other countries,” said the Deputy Grand Chief. “It might sound good to condemn violence in Syria, but there are 600 missing or murdered Aboriginal women right here in Canada and Harper’s government just confirmed that it doesn’t care.”

Hare condemned the federal government for stubbornly rejecting calls from First Nations and human rights groups to establish a national inquiry into the growing list of Aboriginal women who are victims of unsolved crimes.

“Evidence is growing that the justice system in this country is simply not the same when crimes involve First Nations citizens. They want to assume jurisdiction over our people and our land by calling us Canadian Indians, but there’s some serious human rights issues that they wouldn’t ignore if we were average Canadian citizens.”

Hare’s sentiments were echoed in a joint statement by two Ontario cabinet ministers, Teresa Piruzza, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

“Ontario’s position on this issue, like that of other provinces and territories participating in the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group, has been clear and consistent.  We have called on the federal government to work with the National Aboriginal Organizations to end violence against Aboriginal women.

“To that end, at the Council of the Federation meeting this past July, Premier Wynne joined her colleagues to support a call for a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.

Our government has also convened a Joint Working Group on Violence Against Aboriginal Women, consisting of Aboriginal leaders and provincial ministries, to provide us with direct advice about how best to tackle this devastating issue.”

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.


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