Romeo Saganashs Speech On Murdered, Missing Aboriginal Women Silences House

OTTAWA – NDP MP Romeo Saganashs remarks to the House of Commons on Friday about the need for an inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women:”Indigenous women experience more violence because they are indigenous and because they are women. Amnesty International found that indigenous women are most likely to die before non-indigenous women in this country, and are more likely to die violently.In many indigenous cultures and societies, we are taught to honour women as life-givers, as knowledge-keepers, as storytellers, as medicine women, as word-carriers, as community members and human beings, and colonialism has impacted negatively on those values.The violence that is perpetrated against indigenous women is the violence against the environment today, and the same violence that assaulted parents and grandparents in residential schools.Let me quote from the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R. v. Laliberte. The court said:Courts must take judicial notice of such matters as the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools and how that history continues to translate into lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide….Yet, the prime minister, not too long ago, incredulously said we have ….no history of colonialism in this country.Let me tell a story about a little boy named Jonish, who was sent to a residential school in 1954. He was five years old. He never came back. Apparently, he died the first year he arrived at the residential school.His mom never knew, until after two years, of his death. His mom, my mom, for 40 years never knew where Jonish was buried. It is only by coincidence, one day, that one of my sisters happened to be in the area, and someone told her “I know where your little brother is buried.”After 40 years, my sister filmed the site where he was buried and brought the film back to my mom to show her. Just imagine, it was 40 years until she found out where my little brother laid.I do not know if any of the members have seen their mother cry, but I saw my mother cry many times, but the day she saw that video — I had never seen her cry that way. That was closure. That is what we call closure. That is the closest she could get to final closure for her son.

via Romeo Saganashs Speech On Murdered, Missing Aboriginal Women Silences House.

About Makere

A Maori/Scots New Zealander transplanted to Canada. Grandmother, academic, indigenous scholar, sometime singer, sometime activist, who cares passionately about our world.
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