Thank your for your question, Ms. Demers.
You referred to the silence that prevails with respect to violence against women. But the Aboriginal Women's Association was created several years ago. Mary Two-Axe Early, who lobbied in favour of Bill C-31, did a lot of advocacy work towards combating violence against women and poverty quite a few years ago. Naturally, a lot of Quebec and Canadian media seize on these issues. But there are few Aboriginal journalists. For a number of years now, we have been denouncing violence and women's poverty. Mary Two-Axe Early and Evelyn O'Bomsawin, the two founders of the Quebec Aboriginal Women's Association were engaged in that work. In fact, they took me by the hand and showed me how to continue the struggle.
In public, people say that Indians drink and take drugs. We are speaking out against this in whatever way we can, but our demands seem to fall on death ears.
As regards the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, my view is that this document is written in simple terms and tells the truth about Aboriginal peoples, particularly the article dealing with women and children. From the very beginning, we have been victims of discrimination. We are also victimized by the poverty imposed on us. We are trying to extricate ourselves from this cycle of victimization, but we have neither the means nor the budget to do so. Using the little we have to work with, we are trying to make our voices heard.
Yesterday we met with parliamentarians, including one senator. We are at the point now where we are prepared to do anything and everything. Our quest is one that began a long time ago. Many women have been living through this for many years. There was Bill C-31, and then there was Bill C-3, some of which is discriminatory, and there are also a number of other articles in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.