A message from Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Nel Wieman, Acting Chief Medical Officer
The FNHA is commemorating the
annual global campaign against gender-based violence that runs from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day).
This important campaign is a designated time to call out and speak up on
gender-based violence and to renew our commitment to ending violence against women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals. The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women (Dec. 6) is also included in these 16 days.
We care about ending all violence against all people, but as a First Nations organization that serves First Nations communities in BC, during this particular campaign, we would like to call attention to the disproportionate levels of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
In BC, as a result of the number of Indigenous women that have been murdered or gone missing, in 2010, the province struck a Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Its 2012 report,
Forsaken, found that approximately 33 percent of BC's murdered or missing women were Indigenous, despite making up approximately three percent of the province's total population. An extension of this inquiry was the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Its 2019 report,
Reclaiming Power and Place, found that “persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada's staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people."
This is unacceptable. Every individual is valuable, precious, and deserving of respect and protection. We hope you will join us in taking a stand against
gender-based violence. Here are some ways to get involved/take action:
Host a virtual guest speaker
Invite a virtual guest speaker to talk about the challenges facing victims/survivors of gender-based violence, as well as the programs and resources available. Arrange to have a question-and-answer period following the presentation.
Reach out to local Indigenous women's organizations/shelters that work to prevent gender-based violence and support victims/survivors and ask how you can help.
Host a screening
Screen a movie, video or documentary related to gender-based violence, such as those available on the National Film Board website (various languages; viewer discretion is advised for some films). Ensure a trained support person is present to respond to questions.
Create a work of art
Create a visual art piece or collage depicting what a healthy relationship or providing support to others means to you.
If you need information on ways to seek or offer help, click on these links: