April 29, 2017

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CHIEFS OF ONTARIO CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE WAKE OF CINDY GLADUE DECISION

CHIEFS OF ONTARIO CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE WAKE OF CINDY GLADUE DECISION
Chiefs of Ontario call for accountability in the wake of Cindy Gladue decision and demand justice from the ‘skewed and broken’ Canadian legal system

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy is calling for justice for Cindy Gladue and support across the province in the wake of the recent not guilty verdict in the murder trial of a man accused of killing her almost four years ago. Rallies are being organized in at least 14 Canadian cities today to protest the verdict. The events have the support of Silence No More, STRUT Toronto, Amnesty International, Idle no More and the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. “We should all be outraged by this verdict,” said Ontario Regional Chief Beardy. “She was a mother, a sister and a daughter whose life was taken too early and now a verdict from a jury that essentially says First Nations women lives aren’t as valued as everyone else’s. Our leaders take this very seriously.” The Chiefs of Ontario Political Confederacy established Ontario First Nations Women’s Caucus (OFNWC) in 2011 to develop a strategy that supports a community-based approach to ending violence against First Nations women and girls. At a Planning Gathering for the Families of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Thunder Bay this past February, the families identified lack of justice and inadequate sentencing as one of the several barriers and challenges faced by the families within the criminal justice system, which has a tremendous impact on their ability to find truth and closure following the loss or disappearance of their loved one. A 2014 RCMP report found 1,017 aboriginal women and girls were killed between 1980 and 2012, a homicide rate about 4.5 times higher than that of all other women in Canada. In 2013, the Ontario First Nation leadership unanimously signed and committed to Resolution 13/04 Adoption of a Declaration by First Nations Political Leadership to Support Ending Violence and Abuse in Our Communities and Against Our Peoples. “I presume that the trial itself would have gone much differently if the victim wasn’t an Indigenous woman and if the jury wasn’t entirely non-native,” said Regional Chief Beardy. “This is another example of the injustice faced by our Indigenous women and the how the Canadian justice system is skewed and broken and fraught with systemic racism against Indigenous people.” Toronto’s rally will take place at noon ET at the Ministry of the Attorney General’s office 720 Bay St. The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario. For more information, please contact: Jamie Monastyrski, Communications Phone: 807-630-7087 Email: jamie.monastyrski@coo.org

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