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FIRST NATION LEADERS ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS OF WOMEN ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY AND TO SEND PRAYERS TO THE FAMILIES OF MISSING AND MURDERED WOMEN AND GIRLS

TORONTO (March 8, 2017) --- Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day along with all First Nation leaders from across the province acknowledge International Women’s Day today and extend their deepest respect and appreciation to Grandmothers, Mothers, Daughters, Wives, Aunties, Sisters, Nieces and the women activists that work tirelessly to ensure recognition of gender equity and justice in society.

"While celebrating the success and contributions of women on International Women's Day, we are sharply reminded of the ongoing pain and suffering of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in our communities,” said Ontario Regional Chief Day. “We are grateful that the federal government has launched the National Inquiry into MMIWG, and look forward to the long-awaited hearings to begin this spring. The five MMIWG commissioners will be attending our Second Families Gathering at Six Nations, March 28-30.”    

Every year, on this day is dedicated by the United Nations as International Women’s Day. It’s a day to honour the unique struggles, strengths, and potential of women around the world, far too many of whom face violence, poverty, environmental destruction, disease, and discrimination on a daily basis. This is also a day to celebrate the accomplishments by Indigenous women.

“I believe that initiatives such as the current MMIW inquiry, the “Who Is She?” campaign, the recent Sixties Scoop precedent-setting decision in Ontario and even the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin (I Am a Kind Man) workshop offered by the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres are the result of increased female participation in Indigenous politics,” said Regional Chief Day.

“I believe this movement is a return to a more traditional governance structure and a ‘re-matriation’ of First Nations politics. The rise of women leaders represents a return to a traditional order, where women were revered and often sought out for their leadership capabilities,” said Regional Chief Day.

There are 133 First Nation communities in Ontario with 40 elected female chiefs which is a record-setting proportion of female leaders in the country. That’s 30 percent and compared to Canadian municipalities whose number is 16%.

“We are doing well in comparison but can do much better in reaching equality between male and female leaders in our communities.”

#InternationalWomensDay #BeBoldforChange #IWD2017

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The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

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