This past weekend, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) held their Annual General Assembly in Saskatoon, which focused primarily on missing Aboriginal women.
Claudette Dumont-Smith, executive director of NWAC said the group is calling on both the federal and provincial governments for a national inquiry into missing Aboriginal women across the country.
“Every year for the past several years we’ve been very concerned about the missing and murdered aboriginal women, so that’s really a big priority,” said Dumont-Smith. “We have to think about other matters that would improve the living conditions of aboriginal women, such as health, education, employment—so all of these are issues … they’re very important, but with the high numbers of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, we have to be very focused on that.”
Judy Hughes president of the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corporation, who hosted the assembly, said the event is an important one for collaboration across province and territories on the issue of missing Aboriginal women and others.
“The issue of violence against Aboriginal women and girls—particularly murdered and missing women has been NWAC’s number one priority—and I think for Aboriginal women, the number one priority right across the board,” said Hughes.
“We share a lot of the same concerns and issues and there are different ways we can work towards a solution and having those ideas, thoughts and being able to build those partnerships has helped in being able to provide the supports and services that are needed in our communities.”