Lheidli T’enneh Territory/Prince George BC – The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is supporting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) report entitled: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in British Columbia, Canada (Dec. 21/14). The report took several years to prepare and included engagement with First Nations across British Columbia (BC) and Canada, including the Carrier Sekani leadership and membership. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), initiated the IACHR submissions which led to the report.
Tribal Chief Teegee stated, “We are pleased with the IACHR report on missing and murdered women. This is the greatest challenge we all have before us: how to protect our women and girls in Canada. We continue to struggle to improve the root cause of poverty in our communities, and the IACHR provides some more solutions.” He continued, “We are grateful to the IACHR and all their staff and leaders. Once again an international organization shines the light on Canada and British Columbia’s dark history and present reality. How can we talk about ‘first world’ Canada and yet there is still so much marginalization and racism of First Nations women in BC?”
The IACHR report makes 11 key recommendations, some of which include:
- Government to provide a safe public transport option along Highway 16 (which transects the heart of Carrier Sekani territory);
- Better coordination amoung the various levels and sectors of government is needed;
- Support for a national-level action plan or a nation-wide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, in order to better understand and address the problem through integral approaches;
- Development of a data collection system to collect accurate statistics on murdered and missing women;
- Government to implement a policy aimed at ensuring an appropriate response when a report of a missing person, particularly a First Nation woman, is filed;
- Police and court officials should receive mandatory and ongoing training in the causes and consequences of gender-based violence in general and violence against indigenous women in particular;
- Improve support and protection for the families of victims before, during and after investigations and legal proceedings.
The IACHR report makes recommendations, some of which are directed at BC, others to Canada; Tribal Chief Teegee comments, “BC and Canada must include the Carrier Sekani leaders and families as key partners in implementing the IACHR, and Oppal Inquiry recommendations. The root causes of lack of historical reparations, land claims and genuine revenue sharing from our lands and resources are key measures that will lift our peoples from poverty. This is a long-term process and our people are prepared to take on this opportunity.”
About the IACHR
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is the consultative and advisory body on human rights which is part of the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS, based in Washington D.C., is a regional organization of the United Nations for the 35 independent states in the Americas. The Commission has seven members from different member states. As a member of the OAS, Canada is bound to respect, protect and fulfill the rights set out in the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (sic).
Tribal Chief Terry Teegee: (250) 562-6279 ext. 223; Cell (250) 640-3256
- IACHR Official Press Release: http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2015/003.asp
- Briefings from the FAFIA (Feminist Alliance for International Action) – http://www.fafia-afai.org/en/solidarity-campaign/#the-inter-american-commission-human-rights
- Link to Special Rapporteur report on Canada: http://unsr.jamesanaya.org/docs/countries/2014-report-canada-a-hrc-27-52-add-2-en-auversion.pdf