Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect and heavy hearts that we mark the fifth anniversary of the Sisters in Spirit vigil. October 4 is the day to honour the lives of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, and their families.
The latest information shows that this human rights crisis is not slowing down. The Native Women's Association of Canada has identified over 582 aboriginal women and girls who have gone missing or have been murdered, up 520 from five years ago. That means that aboriginal women and girls go missing or are victims of murder seven times more often than non-aboriginal women.
This year, over 75 communities held a Sisters in Spirit vigil to demand concrete action.
New Democrats stand with aboriginal families and other Canadians who are asking for an effective and unbiased police response, improved public awareness through the collection and publication of comprehensive national statistics on violent crime against aboriginal women, and steps to elevate aboriginal women's social status by closing the economic and social gap between them and other Canadians.
The time for action is now.