Women of the Métis Nation calls for strong action to end violence against Métis women
VANCOUVER, June 17, 2011 - The Women of the Métis Nation (WMN) attended the Collaboration to End Violence: National Aboriginal Women's Forum in Vancouver (NAWF), B.C. on June 15 to 17, 2011. Violence against women is a very real issue for the Métis, one that is more prevalent than is recognized by mainstream media and the general public.
For the Métis, violence against women is a community issue with each person having a role and responsibility to prevent, intervene and support victims or those who have lost loved ones to violence. "It is time to take a stand for our Métis women and girls. When one of our own has suffered or is lost it resonates throughout the veins of the community," said Women of the Métis Nation President Melanie Omeniho. "Every community citizen, service provider and leader must make Métis women a priority and this starts by properly identifying our women as being Métis."
There are issues that stem from Métis women and girls not being identified as victims of violence within the information gathered during and after incident. The lack of solutions and resources required to prevent and intervene for Métis women and families as well as the ongoing maintenance necessary need to be addressed quickly. A Métis-specific approach when working with abused Métis women is the only way to ensure that Métis women and girls will not be forgotten.
President Omeniho continued, "there is no way that we can come up with solutions if we are not identified, we are an unseen group - even here at this Forum the reality is the same. Until Métis women are engaged in developing the solutions and working collaboratively with others to address the issues of violence against Métis women nothing will change."
Over 200 delegates, from across Canada including National Aboriginal Organizations and provincial and territorial ministers came together to share best practices and experiences.