Ottawa, Ontario, February 23, 2018 — On behalf of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, president Natan Obed today expresses his condolences to the families of Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie, and stands in solidarity with all Canadians calling for justice reforms and systemic changes to ensure Indigenous peoples rights are respected in Canada.
“These cases are more than just the latest instances that highlight the need for addressing racism or reforming justice systems. They are also examples of the tragic end results of discrimination towards Indigenous Canadians. We must all work towards a safer and more just Canada free from racism and disrespect against Indigenous peoples.”
Towards this end, Inuit welcomed the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut this week, as the Inquiry heard brave testimony from survivors, families, and loved ones. Not only were the stories of the murdered, missing, and survivors of violence shared, but Inuit also talked about how the justice system, the child welfare system, and other government institutions have failed or are failing Inuit women and children. The strength shown by those willing to tell their truth must be met with a forceful and united response to ensure our Inuit, First Nations, and Metis women and girls are free from violence and racism and given every opportunity to succeed and thrive in their homelands and in Canada.
ITK stands with the Assembly of First Nations, the Metis National Council and others in calling for reforms which will ensure justice for Indigenous victims of violence, particularly women and girls and a system centred on dignity, equality and respect for human rights for all.