Feb10


Sunday, February 14th. About 200 braved the cold, gathered at Berri Square and quietly (except for a lone drum), marched all the way to Parc des Ameriques holding white hearts and signs: “3000 stories untold.” Our goal: Remember the women and girls who have gone missing or been murdered. There are 3000 of them. But for the purposes of TV cameras, our goals go beyond remembering. We want to pressure the government to continue funding NWAC’s Sisters in Spirit initiative. We want them to conduct a public investigation on top of that. We want them to say ” Yes, there is a serious problem here.” The opening prayer was done by Cheryl Diabo of Kahnawake’s Mohawk Traditional Council, and speakers included Kate Rexe of NWAC, Bridget Tolley from Kitigan Zibi, whose mother Gladys Tolley was murdered by the Surete de Quebec in 2002, Kary Ann Deere of Projet Autochtones de Quebec, performance artist Chandra Melting Tallow, and Mi’kmaq writer and activist Dorothy Proctor from Nova Scotia who spoke about the disproportionately high levels of Indigenous women in prisons in Canada and how the majority of them have been the repeated victims of physical and sexual violence. We closed with drumming and singing by Aboriginal women’s drum & singing group, Odaya, who had everybody form a circle, hold hands and sing. There were just enough people to fill the entire park with our circle. Beautiful. CTV, Global TV, and CBC were present, along with journalists from UQAM and The Concordian. Photos by Maya Rolbin-Ghanie and Dexter...

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With guest speakers Jessica Yee, Janie Jamieson, and Rachel Alouki-Labbe. As an accompanying event to Montreal’s first Annual Memorial March for Murdered and Missing Women, slated to happen this Sunday, February 14th, Missing justice organized a bilingual panel discussion on February 11th at the Cegep de Vieux Montreal, to discuss numerous issues connected to the larger problem of violence against Indigenous women. Janie Jamieson, a Mohawk woman and land rights activist from Six Nations, Ontario, spoke courageously, for the first time in public, about her experiences losing her aunt Cynthia Jamieson, who was kidnapped, brutally raped and murdered. She also spoke about the resultant lack of media prioritization relative to another non-Native woman who was killed around the same time as her aunt. She criticized the Canadian media, calling them an appendage of the state, as CTV, who, happily, attended the event, filmed her closely. Jessica Yee later ‘joked’ that they better include what Janie said in their coverage of the event. Janie also talked about links between the struggles of Indigenous peoples in both North and South America, the oppressed relationship to the Crown that they share, and the consequent land rights fights and high levels of violence against women across the board as well. Rachel Alouki-Labbe, an Abenaki woman and documentary filmmaker, showed a short clip from her film Desert de Croix, about the appalling femicide that is currently rocking Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and quoted Mexico’s ambassador to Canada’s infamous chauvinist comment, which blames the women themselves for the violence, because of the short skirts that they wear. She spoke of people finding women’s bones on the outskirts of town. Alouki-Labbe went further to compare the situation in Quebec to that of Juarez. Jessica Yee is a self-described Indigenous feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter.  24 years old and Two-Spirited from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, Jessica is the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, a CanAmerica wide organization by youth and for youth. She spoke with passion and humour about the importance of culturally appropriate sex education for Native youth and the role it can play in preventing violence in native communities. “And I’m not talking about the STI fact sheet with the feather or the medicine wheel on it,” she...

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Missing Justice would like to invite you to a Panel Discussion on February 11th, 2010 at 6pm at the Exode in Cegep du Vieux Montreal, 255 Ontario St. East. The panel will feature Jessica Yee, Janie Jamieson, and Rachel Alouki Labbe as we continue to educate and become aware of the injustices being committed to the Indigenous Women of Canada. Jessica Yee is a woman of Chinese-Mohawk decent and was named the YMCA Young Woman of Distinction of 2009 for her activism and writing about Indigenous youth. She is the founder of Native Youth Sexual Health Network which works for healthy sexuality, cultural competency, youth empowerment, and reproductive justice for and by Indigenous youth. Presently, Jessica is working with the Sexual Health Education and Pleasure Project and is a youth coordinator for the Highway of Tears Initiative. Jessica will join us on February 11th to speak about her education efforts and work within First Nations communities. Janie Jamieson is a Mohawk Six Nations Activist who has been very engaged and outspoken about Indigenous Land Rights. She is also the niece of Cythia Jamieson, one of the murdered/missing women. Janie will join us to share her personal experience of losing a loved one to these injustices and to share her thoughts about wisdom and her activism. Rachel Alouki Labbe is an Abenki woman who grew up in a Kanesatake Mohawk community. Rachel is a film producer and director; she says that in her films, she strives to overcome prejudices and to convey the strength and beauty of First Peoples. With her interests stemming from the First Nation communities here in Quebec, she now does work with Indigenous people throughout the world. Rachel is the founder of Alouki Films and was the recipient of the prize for Telediversity in 2008. She recently released a documentary called ‘Desert de Croix’ which explores femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Rachel will join us to show and speak about her recent documentary as well as to address some of the issues affecting First Nations in Quebec. This Panel Discussion is being organized by Missing Justice, a grassroots solidarity collective based in Montreal that works to eliminate violence and discrimination against Indigenous women in Quebec. The collective seeks to consult and collaborate with Indigenous communities and organizations to foster understanding and dispel harmful stereotypes commonly held in regards to Indigenous women who are targets of violence. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear two powerful women speak about important issues affecting Indigenous peoples. For more information do not hesitate to contact Missing Justice by email at justiceformissing@gmail.com or visit our website at missingjustice.ca. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————- The 1st Memorial...

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