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June 2nd Media Event: Supporting Urban Service Providers is key to addressing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and taking action on the National Inquiry's 231 Calls for Justice


The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition acknowledges that we are unceded Algonquin-Anishinaabe territory

OTTAWA, June 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It has been 12 seasons since the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place was released containing 231 Calls for Justice. The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition (OAC) and the MMIWG2S+ Urban Action Group are co-hosting an event to honour our MMIWG and to ask the question: where are we now in supporting urban Indigenous service providers who work at the grassroots level to address this issue and often, directly with families at their greatest need?

"There is a direct link between urban service providers and the support needed by families when a loved one goes missing or is murdered. We are the ones who know the vulnerabilities, the challenges, the strengths, and the resilience of our community," stated Mary Daoust, Executive Director of Minwaashin Lodge and OAC Co-Chair. Adding, "And very often, we are engaged at the onset of a crisis. And, this crisis never ends, it is a pandemic and like Covid - it can and must be addressed".

"It is undeniable there is a vital, innovative, resilient and strong Urban *Indigenous presence in Canada. Urban Indigenous communities are well established and have played a vital role in supporting women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ who have a right to culture, a right to health and wellness, a right to safety and security and a right to justice." said Diane Redsky, Chair of MMIWG2S+ Urban Action Group which is made up of Urban Indigenous Leaders from across Canada.

"The legacy of colonization is real. We see it and live it every day, in our personal and professional lives", said Stephanie Mikki Adams, Executive Director for Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families and OAC Co-Chair. "That it does not make the media, that we continue to suffer violence and continue to be preyed upon, that we continue to die at pandemic rates, all point to that reality and it can no longer be ignored. We are here to talk about priorities, to listen and to hear, and to honour our women and girls who have gone missing and have been murdered", Ms. Adams emphasized.

The event is being held on Friday, June 2, 2023 at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, 815 St. Laurent Boulevard begins at 11 am. Media are invited. Family members of missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls and 2S+ who wish to attend can rsvp with [email protected].

The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition (OAC) is an alliance of ten (10) Indigenous delivery organizations that provide front-line programs and services within Ottawa to 20,000 of the 40,000 Indigenous community members. Formed in 2001, these organizations present a unified voice at the community, municipal, provincial, and federal levels. The OAC raises awareness on a wide and diverse range of issues currently facing our Indigenous community in Ottawa, in the hopes of increasing the positive and healthy choices available to our community members and their families across a wide and diverse range of considerations.

The current membership of the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition includes Gignul Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Inuit Non-Profit Housing, Inuuqatigiit Centre, Kagita Mikam, Makonsag Aboriginal Head Start, Minwaashin Lodge, Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Youth, Tungasuvvingat Inuit, and Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.

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