TORONTO, ON — Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, Grand Chiefs from the Political Confederacy and special guests launched a new campaign today that will help raise funds and awareness for the implementation for an Ontario First Nations-led inquiry process into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“This campaign will not only provide much needed funds to implement a call for an Ontario First Nations specific inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls but it will raise the awareness of the issue on a grander more accessible scale,” said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day. “We are determined to prompt a national dialogue supporting this vital cause. We know the government will not call an inquiry so we have taken it upon ourselves to lead our own, on our own terms for the benefit of everyone impacted by this national crisis.”
The Chiefs of Ontario secretariat were directed by a Chiefs-in-Assembly resolution to implement a call for an Ontario First Nations specific inquiry to be conducted into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, that will feed into the national inquiry.
In February 2015, a Planning Gathering for the Families of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls was held so that the families could provide advice and input to First Nations leadership on the design of our own inquiry, based on the various Indigenous values, protocols, realities, and solutions.
“The loss of these women affects our communities greatly. Each and every one of them left behind family, loved ones, and in many cases children,” said Deputy Grand Chief Denise Stonefish of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians. “What happens to the children? Where do they go and who takes care of them? These are questions that need answers and we hope that our inquiry, supported by this campaign, will begin to address these concerns.”
The first phase of the campaign has been designed in consideration of the current federal political climate with messaging focused specifically to federal political parties, federal candidates, and all Canadians, that will capitalize on the broad political momentum on this issue that is currently underway across Canada.
The campaign includes a dynamic website dedicated specifically to this issue, which will feature weekly testimonials and photos from families who participated in the Chiefs of Ontario Planning Gathering; weekly video messages from First Nations leaders; weekly blog posts; promotional videos; and an online donation mechanism.
To view the site, go to: www.WhoIsShe.ca