Sunday, September 21, 2014
Text Size

AFN renews push for inquiry into missing and murdered women at annual meeting

The Assembly of First Nations will consider legal action against Ottawa, including international options, if the government does not launch a review

By:Aly Thomson

The Canadian Press

HALIFAX—Calls for a public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women were renewed Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Assembly of First Nations, with one native leader accusing the federal government of ignoring their plight.

Cheryl Maloney of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association said she is not optimistic that the Conservatives will change tack and launch such an inquiry, but she added she wasn’t deterred from continuing to push for such a review.

“I don’t hold out much hope for the Harper government,” Maloney said in an interview following a presentation to the assembly in Halifax. “We have a lot of commitment from Canadians and from parliamentarians, just not the right ones.”

Maloney said aboriginal leaders will be reaching out to the opposition ahead of next year’s election and are gathering a team of experts to look at possible legal action against Ottawa, including international remedies at the International Court of Justice.

“We’ve done pretty much everything we can do as a country and it seems apparent that this Canadian government is indifferent to the fact that our streets are not safe.”

She urged chiefs to continue pushing the government for answers on the more than 1,100 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

The president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada went further, imploring people not to vote for the Conservatives in the October 2015 election.

“It doesn’t matter who you believe in, which colour, which political party — make sure there is no Harper government, because they don’t want a national public inquiry,” said Michèle Audette.

Three resolutions were passed, directing the Assembly of First Nations to create a roundtable to kick-start a national dialogue on the issue. The assembly also vowed to lobby for national legislation protecting indigenous women involved in the sex trade.

Their calls for an inquiry have been repeatedly rejected by Ottawa. But Kellie Leitch, minister of status of women, has said the federal government is concerned about the high number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Andrew McGrath, a spokesman for Leitch, said in an email the minister has met with several families of victims and has been told repeatedly that “now is the time for action.”

McGrath cited a $8-million federal commitment over five years toward a national DNA-based missing persons index.

The second day of the assembly’s three-day meeting also saw Ghislain Picard, regional chief for Quebec and Labrador, chosen as interim national chief.

Picard has served as the assembly’s spokesman since Shawn Atleo unexpectedly stepped down in May. A new leader will be chosen at a special chiefs assembly in December in Winnipeg.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins