Amnesty International reports that indigenous women in Canada are more likely to die than their non-indigenous counterparts and that they are more likely to die violently. According to the Native Women’s Association of Canada, there have been roughly 1,200 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada since 1980. This would be equivalent to roughly 20,000 cases among all other women. Indigenous women make up roughly 2% of Canada’s population and, according to findings by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they are four times more likely to be murdered than non-indigenous women. Many view this as stemming from racism, sexism and colonialism. Canada’s federal government, however, rejects calls for a national inquiry into the matter.
Our Sisters In Spirit seeks to explore and answer the question of how a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women might be conducted and whether there is a better approach. We need your support to make this happen. As filmmakers interested in social justice, we wish to create awareness and contribute to an open discussion of this issue.
We will travel across Canada and into the United States to speak with victims’ families, First Nations communities, political figures, organizations, artists and individuals from all walks of life.
Your support of Our Sisters In Spirit is critical. Funding will be directed to the costs of travel and accommodation, post-production audio mixing and colour correction, as well as screening and distribution costs.
Director Nick Printup has a background in Aboriginal social service and was raised with traditional indigenous cultural teachings and values. He is personally connected to eight victims through family, friends and community.
Conflict between political parties on this issue and the debate over a national inquiry are ongoing. With an upcoming federal election and inaction on the part of the federal government, there is now an opportunity for change. Together and through Our Sisters In Spirit, the matter can be addressed appropriately as a human rights issue. Now is the time for action.
Many First Nations societies are matrilineal, where women are honoured and held in high regard. As givers of life they are to be protected. Please help us in remembering and protecting our sisters in spirit.
The documentary Our Sisters In Spirit will be produced for release in 2015.
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