Honour Stolen Sisters at a vigil on October 4
October 2019 marks 15 years since Amnesty International released our “Stolen Sisters” report, and much has happened during this time.
In 2004, our report was ground breaking and helped to shine a light on a little known Canadian human rights crisis, and it promoted solutions identified by the Native Women’s Association of Canada and other Indigenous partners. Years of campaigning led by Indigenous women resulted in government finally calling an inquiry to investigate the scope and scale of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit persons, and to identify solutions to end the violence. In June, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued its final report, including 231 Calls for Justice.
On October 4th, hundreds of Sisters in Spirit vigils will be held in communities across Canada to honour Indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered. Mark this day by participating in a vigil to express your solidarity, and by advocating alongside our First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners and calling on government to put in place a comprehensive national response in keeping with the scale and seriousness of the violence, including a coordinated national action plan to prevent and address gender-based violence.
Participate in a vigil on October 4
- Contact the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), other Indigenous women's organizations, your local band office, friendship centre, or Indigenous community or service organization to see if vigil is planned near you.
- Amnesty participates in vigils to demonstrate our solidarity, and to honour the memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Vigils are a solomn occasion to remember Sisters in Spirit, and events are centred on the voices of rights holders. As such, we refrain from bringing petitions (unless, as has happened a few times in the past, they are co-created with Indigenous partners), large Amnesty backdrops, or having too visible of a presence. Wearing an Amnesty t-shirt or holding a small banner in the audience is completely ok and is a great way to express solidarity. Amnesty generally does not speak at vigils unless it is upon invitation from Indigenous partners, solidarity-focused, very brief, and after rights holders have spoken.
Organize a vigil
- If nothing is planned for your community, co-organize a vigil with Indigenous partners and register it with NWAC no later than September 9th.
- A resource kit is available to help you organize your vigil.
- Write a letter to the government of Canada, calling for urgent action to implement the National Inquiry's Calls for Justice.
- Sign our e-action calling on all federal political parties to commit to urgent action to end this human rights crisis.
- Read the National Inquiry's Calls for Justice to all people in Canada.
- Check out Amnesty's social media feeds on October 4th. We always have a post about honouring the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit who have gone missing or been murdered. Share these posts on your social media feeds.