Yellowknife, NWT – A new, national roundtable on murdered and missing Aboriginal women will come to Yellowknife in February 2015.
That’s according to the Premier of the Northwest Territories, Bob McLeod.
Speaking to Moose FM, the Premier said the introduction of a national roundtable would not preclude a future national inquiry but was vital for continued progress in the interim.
“We talked about the need to have outcomes and to be accountable, so that we’re actually doing some real work instead of just talking about it,” said McLeod, pictured above.
Plans for the roundtable were discussed at the recent National Aboriginal Women’s Summit in Nova Scotia, attended by representatives of every province and territory – with the exception of Prince Edward Island – alongside leaders of the five national Aboriginal organizations.
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“All of them spoke in support of a national roundtable on missing and murdered Aboriginal women. We all agreed it wasn’t mutually exclusive to a national inquiry,” said McLeod.
“One of the outcomes that some of the Aboriginal organizations have talked about is, perhaps this will lead us to a national inquiry.
“I expect the outcomes will be more real actions that can be taken to deal with the issues.
“The factors contributing to the high rate of violence against Aboriginal women and girls include attitudes and stereotyping, and these attitudes need to change if we’re going to make a difference.
“There are also societal factors such as poverty, lack of employment opportunities and so on. Those are the kinds of things we would want to deal with.”
The Premier said the roundtable will take place in conjunction with a meeting of the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group in Yellowknife, on either February 11-13 or 25-27.
He hopes a number of federal ministers will attend.
“I find that once people get the other to talk, we can make a lot of progress in dealing with these very difficult issues,” said McLeod.
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