Statement from Tŝilhqot’in Ts’iqi Dechen Jedilhtan (Women’s Council) on the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Today we come together in solidarity with all Indigenous people across Turtle Island and beyond to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two spirit plus. Our entire communities, including men and boys, are impacted by this systemic issue.

Our communities face heavy amounts of grief caused by tragedy and death among our people. This has been ensured by our people since the time of the Chilcotin War of 1864 to present day. Indigenous women and girls are extremely vulnerable every day as we go about our daily lives and routines regardless of where we live or our circumstances.

There is a feeling that you or your family could be next. Our people have endured tragedy after tragedy, yet we continue to remain resilient. Living like this is unacceptable.

This is also true for those in state care. The most recent report from BC’s Representative for Children
and Youth titled “Missing” on April 27, 2023 states that 65% of the young people reported as lost or missing within BC’s child welfare system were indigenous. Indigenous females accounted for 40% of those missing. We support the House of Commons backing a motion for an emergency alert system for MMIW. It is about time.

We are wearing red today to remember and honour all Indigenous people that have been victims of violence. Miguel Mack and Schooner Jr. are both Indigenous men from this region that remain missing. The 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls must continue to be followed through and implemented in order to bring transformational legal and social change to this epidemic. This is a long-standing chapter of Indigenous memory and history that needs to end. It is genocide.

We hold our hands up to all families struggling with the loss of their loved ones.