For the last five years, we have stood alongside the Native Women's Association of Canada to promote vigils across Canada to honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. In these five years, the Sisters in Spirit vigils have become a genuine national movement, with events in more than 80 cities and communities.
The vigils in which we participated were part of a larger programme of work by Sisters in Spirit that included vital research, public education, police and government engagement, and support to affected families. We have no doubt that the work of Sisters in Spirit has played a crucial role in building public awareness and advancing the necessary solutions to uphold the rights and safety of Aboriginal women and girls.
In fact, the federal government has publicly acknowledged the importance of these vigils and the other vital research and advocacy work carried out by Sisters in Spirit.
Therefore, we are profoundly concerned that there is still no secure funding in place to ensure the continuation of the Native Women's Association of Canada's Sisters in Spirit Initiative.