Liberals say Ottawa must address violence against women after aboriginal summit

The federal government needs to do more to address the root causes of violence against aboriginal women, says the Indian Affairs critic for the federal Liberals.

“Aboriginal women experience higher rates of violence. If that burden is going to be lifted, the socio-economic conditions and prosperity gap between aboriginals and non-aboriginals will have to be addressed,” said Anita Neville in a release.

She spoke as the National Aboriginal Women’s Summit wrapped up in Yellowknife. About 150 women attended the summit, which focused in part on violence against women.

“In order to make aboriginal women’s lives safe and secure, the Conservative government must implement measures to address its root causes, such as poverty,” said Neville.

Before the summit, Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, said the delegates would look at more than 140 recommendations on a wide range of issues – such as poverty, violence and justice – that came out of last year’s inaugural meeting in Cornerbrook, N.L.

Jacobs said she and other women are waiting to see whether the federal government’s apology for the impact of the residential school system was sincere.

After the summit, Neville agreed.

“On the heels of the residential schools apology, the Conservative government must commit to work with First Nations, Metis and Inuit women to end violence and achieve equality for all,” she said.

Jacobs also said she hoped the summit would provide a platform to gain the federal government’s attention on issues.

Neville said that earlier this month the Liberals joined with the Native women’s association to ask the federal government to host a First Ministers Meeting to discuss aboriginal issues and the renewal of the 2005 Kelowna Accord.

“There was enthusiasm and hope among aboriginal women’s groups when the Kelowna Accord agreement was reached because they were involved in the process, and it was the first time that they had a seat at the table,” said Neville.


%d bloggers like this: