OTTAWA, ON., Tuesday December 6, 2022 – As part of the 16 days of Activism against Gender- Based Violence, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak honours the solemn anniversary of the victims of the Montreal massacre at École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989.

“We mourn the loss of the fourteen women whose lives were ended on that horrific day, simply because they were women,” stated Melanie Omeniho, President of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak. “Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world and clearly not enough is being done to alter the reality faced by women and gender-diverse people.”

In recent days, news releases have surfaced on the arrest of a man murdering four Indigenous women in Winnipeg. This demonstrates vividly that more action is required to end the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls presented 231 calls to Justice and Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak’s Métis Perspectives reported detailed 62 Calls for Miskotâha (Change). These calls to justice and change require immediate action.

“We stand in support of the families and loved ones and all victims of gender-based violence” said President Omeniho. “We call upon the Federal Government to immediately action the Calls to Justice and Calls to Change to ensure the protection and safety of all women.” With this sombre anniversary and recent traumatic announcements, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak encourages all who are struggling with their mental wellness to reach out for support from a trusted person in your life or to call the 24-hour Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855- 242-3310 or the mental health support line at 1-866-585-0445.

LFMO speaks as the national and international voice for the Women of the Métis Nation across the Métis Motherland, spanning Ontario westward to British Columbia. Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak aims to consult, promote, and represent the personal, spiritual, social, cultural, political, and economic interests and aspirations of Métis Women and gender diverse people.

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Victoria Pruden
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