Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – The First Nations Summit (FNS) today, on the National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women, remembers the 14 young women who were senselessly murdered 21 years ago at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. Today, the 21st anniversary of these horrific events is also a time to reflect on women who have been or continue to be subjected to acts of violence.

“It is disheartening that in this day and age, violence against women, and in particular Aboriginal women, is so prolific in our society. Statistics show that Aboriginal women in Canada have a 3.5 times higher risk of being the subject of violence” said Grand Chief Edward John of the FNS political executive and Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). “It is time for all of us to stand and work together in unity to stop the violence and create a safe environment for all women and girls”.

Article 22 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes the need for unity to stop violence by stating; ‘States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination’.