QC Native Women


FEMMES AUTOCHTONES DU QUÉBEC INC. QUEBEC NATIVE WOMEN INC. March 4, 2010 QNW would like to comment on the Governor General’s speech from the Throne in hopes that clarifications may be made regarding important issues impacting Indigenous women and our communities. We are pleased to hear mention of the research project Sisters In Spirit but are concerned regarding the vagueness in her Excellency’s speech as to how the Government of Canada proposes to address the issue of murdered and missing Aboriginal women. The factors responsible for the flagrant abuse of Aboriginal women’s rights in Canadian society such as poverty, status or the lack thereof, violence in all its forms, etc, are all linked to the implementation of the archaic Indian Act. The double discrimination of Aboriginal women can also be linked to a lack of political will motivated by an apathetic attitude to profoundly change the Indian Act. QNW sincerely believes that the proposed amendment to the Indian status registration provisions (section 6) of the Indian Act in order to comply with the Court of Appeal of British Columbia’s decision in the Sharon McIvor case, will not adequately address the issue of gender equality for Indigenous women and men. The Court of Appeal’s decision continues to uphold the colonial institution of status being passed through the male line, while only granting Indigenous women partial rights on this issue. As well, with an April 6, 2010 deadline looming and the prorogation of Parliament, it is perhaps unrealistic for the government of Canada to believe that the legislation can be passed in less than a month. Although QNW is encouraged by her Excellency’s statement that the Government of Canada will consider endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we will remain vigilant and cautious until such time as there is a genuine demonstration by Canada to support and implement the Declaration. Our cautiousness is based upon Canada’s behavior in the last 3 years where it vigorously opposed the UNDRIP stating that it is contrary to Canada’s constitution and laws. International human rights Declarations are universally applicable upon their adoption by the United Nations. Suggesting that they must conform with national legislation shows a disregard for the international system. We are concerned that Canada continues to engage in colonization against Indigenous peoples. Canada requires the surrendering of land rights in its land claims process threatening the very identity and well-being of future generations of Indigenous peoples. There also appears to be a lack of sincere reconciliation following the Residential School Apology of June 2008. The status quo remains as does inadequate funding formulas for Indigenous languages, education in...

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With Melanie Morrison from Kahnawke, Kary Ann Deer, of PAQ and QNW, Craig Benjamin, of Amnesty International, and Yasmin Jiwani, from Concordia University. Listen to Audio Here Kary Ann Deer, of Projet Autochtones du Quebec Melanie Morrison, sister of Tiffany Morrison who went missing 3 years ago from Kahnawake. Yasmin Jiwani, former researcher and coordinator of the BC Yukon FREDA Centre for Research on Violence against Women and Children Craig Benjamin, Amnesty...

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For background and analysis about the campaign for justice for the more than 500 murdered, missing and disappeared indigenous women and girls in Canada since 1980, the May 2009 edition of No One Is Illegal Radio features an interview with Ellen Gabriel of the Quebec Native Women’s Association. Listen to the...

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