FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indigenous and Women’s Groups Join The Call For Justice For Cindy Gladue
PRESS RELEASE- April 2, 2015
Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories
The February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee (WMMC) joins numerous local women’s and social justice groups along with 22 other cities and communities across Canada to honour Cindy Gladue’s life and to demand justice. We demand an appeal of the acquittal of her killer by the Crown Prosecutor’s Office in Edmonton.
Today,10:30 am, the WMMC will host a rally at the BC Supreme Court, located at 800 Hornby Street, Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territories, to protest the verdict that acquitted Ms Gladue’s murderer.
Cindy Gladue, a 36-year old mother of three, was killed by an Ontario truck driver in an Edmonton motel room four years ago. Last week, a jury, not of her peers, decided to acquit her killer, agreeing with the claim of her killer that Ms. Gladue had consented to the violence that caused her death.
“The jury’s acquittal of Ms. Gladue’s killer constitutes the utter failure of the criminal justice system to adjudicate correctly and provide justice,” said Marlene George, WMMC Co-Chair. “Further, the acquittal effectively condones violence against Indigenous women, particularly if they are poor.”
The Canadian Federal Government has consistently rejected the call for a national inquiry examining the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and girls, despite the urging from thousands of family members, individuals, women’s groups, communities, First Nations, municipal, provincial and territorial governments, the international community, and human rights organizations around the world.
Fay Blaney, WMMC Co-Chair, stated “Ms. Gladue’s murder and the acquittal of her murderer represent a larger ongoing pattern of colonial gendered violence, which is why we need a national inquiry to overhaul this defective system.”
International human rights bodies continue to condemn Canada’s failure to safeguard Indigenous women and girls and urge Canada to fully uphold its legal obligations under human rights law:
1. United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) recently concluded that Canada, “has failed to ensure that Aboriginal women are protected against discrimination committed by public institutions.”
2. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpez is visiting BC this month and will hear about Canada’s lack of meaningful response to previous Special Rapporteur Dr. Anaya’s report and damning comment that “indigenous women and girls remain vulnerable to abuse… due to complex and intersecting historical and present issues stemming from the impacts of colonialism.”
3. In December 2014 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stated, “disappearances and murders of indigenous women in Canada are part of a broader pattern of violence and discrimination against indigenous women in Canada.”
We demand justice for Cindy Gladue and all missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Aboriginal Front Door Society
Aboriginal Mother’s Centre
Atira Women’s Resource Society
Battered Women’s Support Services
BC Coalition of Experiential Communities
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council
Cheam First Nation Chief and Council
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Gender and Health Initiative
Iskut Band Council
Living In Community
Sexual Assault Support Centre
Surrey Women’s Centre
The Bloom Group
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
WAVAW – Women Against Violence Against Women
Warriors Organizing Women
WISH Drop-In Centre Society
Fay Blaney, Co-Chair February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee 778-714-0161
Marlene George, Co-Chair February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee 778-833-3094