Debates of the Senate  
2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 89
  Tuesday, October 28, 2014
 
Statement: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, the Sisters in Spirit vigils for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls occurred at the beginning of this month on October 4. Since then, we now find ourselves at the end of October with even more encouraging signs that a greater coalition of Canadians are coming together in calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.

Yesterday, on Monday, October 27, Saskatoon City Council passed a motion calling for a national inquiry or round table into missing and murdered indigenous women. The Board of Police Commissioners sent a letter of support to council specifically asking for a round table with Aboriginal leadership to be convened by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Saskatoon City Council joins Winnipeg City Council, which passed a similar motion in September, and by a vote of 14 to 1, Winnipeg was the first city to pass such a motion. I hope other city councils across Canada will pass similar motions. If that were to occur, united municipal and provincial governments could pressure the federal government into calling a national inquiry.

This problem, as honourable senators know, requires support from all levels of government. With municipal and provincial governments on side, I hope the federal government recognizes such support as a positive development and agrees finally to establish a national inquiry. These actions by municipal and provincial governments are a strong message that the status quo has proved to be unacceptable in Canada in 2014.

Additionally, on October 19, the members of the Canadian Public Health Association also added their voices to the growing list of Canadians who are demanding a national inquiry.

I wish to acknowledge Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte who represents Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik, which means "women walking together." It's a group that was formed in 2005 to call attention to the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. She said an inquiry and action plan can operate simultaneously.

I also thank Councillor Mairin Loewen, who put forward the motion, Mayor Don Atchison, and all councillors who were present who voted unanimously for this motion calling for a national inquiry or round table into missing and murdered indigenous women.