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    First Nations children have the right grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and be proud of their cultures

    It’s an obvious truth but it’s far from being a reality.

    As the Auditor General of Canada and many others have noted, the Federal government provides less funding per child for many services for First Nations children on reserves than the Provinces provide for children in their jurisdictions. This is despite often higher costs of delivering such services in small and remote communities, and the greater need experienced by many First Nations communities.

    The result of the denial of basic rights that most people in Canada take for granted.

        

    Over and over again, throughout the year, Amnesty activists stood up for human rights. Whether in campaigns that took place in schools, film festivals and music concerts, whether in small or in large places, we demanded human rights change. We took action sometimes alone, sometimes with partner organizations, and more and more frequently with the very people and communities whose rights are on the line. We were active in letter writing, internet petitions, social and traditional media, and in many other ways.

    We have done so much important human rights work together this year, and we’ve done it well. And having done all this work, we are prepared to do it all over again, and again, until  we see the change that is required.

    Aung San Suu Kyi has repeatedly told the Amnesty members who campaigned for her freedom that, just as we didn’t give up our work for her, we must not give up on our work for the many others whose freedom has been taken away. 

    All governments have a responsibility to do everything in their power to prevent violence against women. This includes provincial and territorial governments as well as municipalities. It also includes Indigenous governments and institutions such as Band Councils. All have a shared responsibility to be part of the solution to ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.

    However, the federal government has a particular responsibility to help ensure the safety and well-being of Indigenous women and girls.

    Here are some of the reasons why:

    There is not one cause of violence against Indigenous women and girls, and likewise, there is not one single solution. A comprehensive, coordinated, well resourced national response, developed with Indigenous women and girls, is needed to end the violence. 

    What solutions are needed to stop the violence?

    A comprehensive national response to end violence against Indigenous women and girls should include:

    A national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women focused on exposing the nature of this violence and on ensuring government and police accountability for an effective and coordinated response.

    A national action plan to end violence against women which addresses the root causes of violence and identifies holistic, culturally-appropriate ways in which to prevent violence and to support those impacted by violence.

    The Paddle for the Peace is held annually to celebrate and recognize the need to protect the Valley and retain its critical ecosystem values in the face of the threat of the Site C dam.

    The Paddle is a day long event that begins on the Peace River, at the Halfway River Bridge on Highway 29, approximately a half hour drive from Fort St. John.

    You will start the day with a full, hearty breakfast, sponsored by the West Moberly First Nations at the launch site between 9 and 11 a.m. Following breakfast, keynote speakers and dignitaries will address the need to protect this precious valley.  The canoes and safety boats will launch at noon. You will enjoy a leisurely 1.5 hour paddle or cruise through this incredibly scenic river valley alongside hundreds of others who care deeply for it. The paddle culminates at Bear Flat and will be followed by a BBQ lunch hosted by the Prophet River First Nations, keynote speakers, musical entertainment as well as the opportunity to visit with other event participants.

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    For the third year in a row Amnesty International in Toronto partners with One Fire Movement during Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market. 

    The focus will be on corporate accountability and the Democractic Republic of Congo, drawing on Amnesty International's Report on cobalt mining.

    If you would like to volunteer for the day contact the  AI Toronto Business and Human Rights Indigenous Team: bhr@aito.ca

    A report released by the RCMP earlier this year marks the first time that police in Canada have attempted, at the national level, to identify how many First Nations, Inuit or Métis women and girls have been murdered or have gone missing.

    According to the report, 1,017 women and girls identified as Indigenous were murdered between 1980 and 2012—a homicide rate roughly 4.5 times higher than that of all other women in Canada.

    In addition, the report states that as of November 2013, at least 105 Indigenous women and girls remained missing under suspicious circumstances or for undetermined reasons.

    These appalling statistics are consistent with previous estimates from sources such as Statistics Canada that have long pointed to a greatly disproportionate level of violence against that First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and girls. The latest numbers also underline what Indigenous women and advocacy organizations have long been saying–that this violence requires a specific and concerted response from police and all levels of society.

    Please come and join us for a lively discussion of our book choice, human rights, and how you can make a difference. 

    We're reading Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson

    Bring a friend, all welcome!

    Public symposium, online and in person
    9-5 pm, Wednesday, May 20th, University of Ottawa Participate in person or through a live, interactive webinar.

    Online:
    Please register to receive information by email on how to log in and submit your questions during the seminar.

    In Person:
    University of Ottawa, Fauteux Hall Room 147. Room opens for registration at 8:30 am on the 20th.

     

    It’s a crucial moment for human rights in Canada. And you can be part of it.

    From October 20-24, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will hear the closing arguments in a history-making case on equity for First Nations children.

    At issue is whether the federal government has discriminated against First Nations children living on reserves, and in the Yukon, by consistently providing less money per child for family services than its provincial counterparts provide in predominantly non-Aboriginal communities.

    At stake is the ability of children’s agencies to provide urgently needed prevention programs for at risk First Nations children and to stem the unprecedented numbers of First Nations children being taken from their families and communities and put into state care.

    The human rights complaint was initiated by a national non-governmental organization, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the Caring Society, recently told Amnesty International,

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      Canada blinks: Ombudsperson announcement a disappointment, but the fight is not over

    Human rights abuses at Canadian-owned mining and oil and gas sites around the world are widespread and well documented. Victims often have nowhere to turn to seek justice. The Canadian Government has taken steps to address this problem. But at a crucial moment, it seems Canada has blinked. 

    Amnesty International is in the process of conducting research into the human rights impacts of large-scale natural resource development in northeastern British Columbia, with a particular focus on the region’s urban centre, Fort St. John. Part of this research focuses on the human rights impacts on women and girls, and particularly Indigenous women and girls.

    Why? Because every year women from Fort St. John travel to Ottawa with a banner listing the missing and murdered women and girls in their community—and every year the banner includes more names. And because, as a wide range of people and organizations from this region have pointed out, environmental assessments and other decision-making processes around large-scale natural resource development projects need to pay more attention to their impact on people's lives and the social fabric of the communities they live in.

    Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Priorities, Partnerships, and Next Steps

    21 November. 2017

    Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau

    9:00 – 17:00

    Free admission / Entrée gratuite

    Lunch provided / Repas compris

    Optional donation / Don facultative

     

    Webcast / Webdiffusion: livestream.com/uqo

    Facebook: goo.gl/eKtHpz

    Eventbrite: goo.gl/byNYZ5

    Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples /

    Coalition canadienne pour les droits des peuples autochtones: chrip.ca

     

    Opening Reception (in person only, not webcast)

    20 November 2017

    Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau

     

    18:30 – 21:00

    The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould

    Gender, Indigenous rights, and energy development in northeast British Columbia, Canada

    Join Amnesty International's campaign to make sure the safety and wellness of Indigenous women and girls in northeast BC, Canada, an area with massive hydroelectric, oil, gas, and coal projects, is not #OutofSightOutofMind! 

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