The NDP supports Aboriginal communities

Make your voice heard and show your support by signing the NDP’s online petition:

https://action.ndp.ca/page/s/national-inquiry

 The Akwesasne Reserve, home to close to 2,800 Mohawks, is located in my riding. The reserve extends to parts of Quebec’s Montérégie area as well as parts of Ontario and New York State.

Aboriginal rights continue to be being trampled in Canada. Thousands of Aboriginal people still live in appalling conditions. This is a critical issue for our country and we cannot turn our heads away. Houses on reserve are overcrowded and in bad shape. The suicide rate has been called “alarming” and is five times higher than the rate for young non-Aboriginal Canadians. Aboriginal women are eight times more likely to be murdered than non-Aboriginal women. The incarceration rate is disproportionately high. And the list goes on…

A troubling study concluded that 40% of Aboriginal children in Canada live in poverty—three times the national average. Many communities do not have running water and a number of teachers say they cannot afford to buy books. According to MP Niki Ashton, Official Opposition Critic for Aboriginal Affairs, “the impact of the lack of federal funding is obvious throughout the community.”

“Canada consistently ranks among the top of countries in respect to human development standards, and yet amidst this wealth and prosperity, aboriginal people live in conditions akin to those in countries that rank much lower and in which poverty abounds,” said James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Canada’s Aboriginal communities are in crisis, and the government’s response is inadequate.

The Prime Minister must stop ignoring the facts. He needs to take a hard look at the shocking statistics on missing and murdered Aboriginal women and launch a national inquiry immediately. A report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shows that 1,200 Aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in the past 30 years.

Despite the calls for action from community leaders, Aboriginal groups and opposition parties, Stephen Harper continues to do nothing. By refusing to hold an inquiry, the Conservatives are failing to examine the issue and, consequently, to provide answers.

While the Conservatives turn their backs on Aboriginal women, the NDP is committed to launching a national commission of inquiry in its first 100 days in office to shed light on this critical situation.

 

Make your voice heard and show your support by signing the NDP’s online petition:

https://action.ndp.ca/page/s/national-inquiry