London, Ontario May 29th, 2020 – Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett recently announced that the Federal government would not be able to deliver on the 231 ‘calls for justice’ from Indigenous women’s groups. Bennett, who initially stated that something would be ‘in the window’ by June now says that the COVID-19 pandemic has made this impossible to accomplish.
The fact that the government is using the pandemic as an excuse is appalling especially when the isolation order makes it worse for many women, seniors, and youth who must stay in close quarters with those who commit domestic abuse. AIAI Grand Chief Joel Abram states “COVID-19 is not a valid reason for delaying the plan when so many of our people are at risk especially when a recent survey by the Native Women’s Association of Canada has found that women were more afraid of domestic violence than of COVID-19. We are putting the call out to our men to help stop domestic violence whenever possible. Whether it is to get help for yourself or others we ask our people to not turn a blind eye or ignore the plight of indigenous women or the partners who are committing such atrocities.”
The Federal government has been ignorant of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls for too long and now when is the time for them to step up they take whatever steps they can to delay action. They must make good on their claims to halt this crisis immediately and continue with their plans regardless of the current situation.