Media Enquiries: Patricia D’Souza, Senior Communications Officer
Tel: 613.292.4482    dsouza@itk.ca

National Inuit Leader and President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami thanks the RCMP and Pauktuutit for their efforts on Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women

Media Release: June 19, 2015

June 19th, Ottawa, ON – Mr. Terry Audla, National Inuit Leader and President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), acknowledges the efforts of the RCMP and partners for their National Operational Overview report and for taking the concerns of Canada’s Aboriginal communities seriously. The report indeed is a “stark portrait of a complex issue” as noted in the RCMP report’s conclusion.

“It is an unfortunate reality that there remains a deeply troubling overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the numbers of murdered and missing women in Canada,” said Terry Audla. “While these statistics continue to be stark now, it is only by accepting this as a Canadian issue, not only an Aboriginal issue, and by working together that we will see change in the future.”

“I am encouraged to see the RCMP prioritizing the need to address violence against Aboriginal women and family violence, including strengthening reduction and prevention efforts, and working with Partner organizations across Canada,” continued Audla.

“In order to see improvements with these disparities, it is critical we collaborate through partnerships to address intervention and prevention.”

“On behalf of ITK, I would also like to commend the ongoing work and commitment of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada for their continued attention to this important matter.  We agree that achieving successful solutions to reduce, and eliminate, the levels of violence against Inuit women requires looking at Inuit- and Northern-specific challenges such as the remote nature of communities in Inuit Nunangat, and the level of direct services offered in the North including the lack of safe shelters in our 53 Inuit communities.”

ITK’s President, Terry Audla jointly lead the Inuit delegation with Rebecca Kudloo, President of Pauktuutit at the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in February of this year with Cathy Towtongie, President of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, Sarah Leo, President of Nunatsiavut where they also raised the importance of an Inuit-specific approach and the need for more shelters in Inuit communities.  Other members of the Inuit delegation included members of the Pauktuutit Board of Directors, Annie Buchan, Anne Curley, Anna Marie Cartwright, Charlotte Wolfrey and Alyssa Flaherty Spence.

“Determinately pursuing solutions to address the disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, such as the disproportionate numbers of murdered and missing Aboriginal women, is a crucial element of moving towards true and lasting reconciliation.  Canada cannot afford to ignore this as a National issue.”

ITK, formerly Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, is the national voice of close to 60,000 Inuit living in 53 communities across the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories), Nunavut, Nunavik (Northern Quebec), and Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) and Inuit living in urban areas.  Founded in 1971 ITK represents and promotes the interests of Inuit on a wide variety of environmental, social, cultural, and political, issues and challenges facing Inuit on the national level.

Please visit Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada for information about their Family Violence Awareness campaign including a list of resource numbers and shelters available to Inuit.

For more information:
ITK Communications
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
613-238-8181