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A Movement Rises – Open Canada

by pmnationtalk on November 24, 2015479 Views

This story, much like Indigenous history, does not begin in a vacuum. Relatives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people* have been on the front lines searching for their loved ones and for answers in every city, community and institution in Canada for decades. At the same time, and with the same commitment, journalists, advocates and educators have also been ringing the alarm bells for change.

The federal election on Oct. 19 saw a tremendous spike in Indigenous voter turnout, by some accounts as high as 270 percent. By and large, the hundreds of Indigenous people I spoke with who took to the polls wanted to see changes to government policies and ideology. The infamous quote from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, repeated over and over in the media, that “missing and murdered Indigenous women are not on our radar to be frank,” did not land well with many Indigenous people.

The fact that MMIW is now a platform issue is astounding, exciting and very new to many who have fought on the front lines for years. We see former cabinet minister Rona Ambrose — who once whittled the Sisters in Spirit database down to nothing through budget cuts — now championing the cause of missing and murdered Indigenous women as the interim leader of the fallen Conservative party.

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