UN committee meets families of missing, murdered women
United Nations committee compiling report on plight of indigenous women in Canada
A special committee from the United Nations was in Winnipeg on Thursday to hear from the families of missing and murdered women.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is travelling across Canada to assess the plight of indigenous women in Canada.
Committee members met with victims’ families and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs throughout the day.
The families of Jennifer Catcheway, who went missing about five years ago, Tanya Nepinak, who police say was murdered but her body was never recovered, and Claudette Osborne, who has been missing since 2008, all met with the committee.
Agencies that provide support for the families and vulnerable women in Manitoba were also on hand to share the work they were doing and what still needs to be done.
"We need to find ways of helping families that have lost their loved ones and finding was of helping them to look for them," said Betsy Kennedy, the chief of War Lake First Nation.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs agreed but said national and even international intervention is a necessity.
"The ultimate goal, of course, is to continue the push for a national public inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women," said Grand Chief Derek Nepinak. "We also hope that the [UN committee] report’s going to reflect the need for further international attention."
The UN committee is expected to prepare a report on its findings when its cross-Canada trip is over.
Nepinak said he hopes that report pushes pressure on the federal government to act.
He said Thursday’s meeting was an important step in having the victims’ families’ voices heard.