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Parliamentary Secretary’s statement on National Day of Action for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people

CANADA, October 4 - Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, released the following statement in honour of Sisters in Spirit vigils and the National Day of Action for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people:

“Everyone in our province deserves to live in safety, free from violence. And yet thousands of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people have been murdered or have gone missing across Canada.

“It is critically important to recognize that the root causes of violence include the harmful effects of colonialism on Indigenous families and communities, and decades of systemic racism and discrimination, racism and discrimination that must end.

“On this day, and every day, we remain steadfast in our commitment to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people. I’d like to recognize all the families and survivors, and the Indigenous organizations that continue to raise awareness of this ongoing violence.

“Our work to end this violence is made possible through partnerships with Indigenous leaders and community members, and I am grateful to all those who have shared their voices and experiences to work with us in our efforts to end gender-based violence.

“This work includes A Path Forward: Priorities and Early Strategies for B.C., which was developed in collaboration with Indigenous survivors, their families, and other Indigenous partners, and includes support for Indigenous communities to create culturally safe approaches to address gender-based violence. The Path Forward also reinforces that our commitment to ending gender-based violence touches virtually every area of our work as government.

“I urge all British Columbians to take time today to honour the Indigenous woman, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people who are missing or have been murdered, and those who have survived. To the families, friends and communities of those lost, who are living with this grief, please know that you are in our hearts and our thoughts.”