February 25, 2015
The Right Hon. Stephen Harper
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Re: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women National Roundtable
Dear Prime Minister,
We write today to encourage your support for and participation in the upcoming National
Roundtable on Indigenous Women and Girls on February 27, 2015.
The Canadian Council of Churches Human Trafficking Working Group is confronted all too often
with the appalling realities many Aboriginal women and girls in Canada face on a daily basis.
This reality was confirmed for us late last year in a presentation to our group by the Native
Women’s Association of Canada where we learned that Indigenous women and girls are at a
higher risk of being trafficked and of facing violence than non-Indigenous women and girls in
While the Government’s leadership in passing the Protection of Communities and Vulnerable
Peoples Act evidenced a clear understanding of the challenges facing many vulnerable
Canadians, one need only pick up a newspaper to see how uniquely vulnerable Indigenous
women and girls are to violence, exploitation and trafficking. More needs to be done. This past
summer, Tina Fontaine was brutally murdered in Winnipeg only a month after arriving in the
city. Sadly, her story is far from an anomaly; stories like these are repeated too often across
We urge the government to demonstrate strong leadership and action, in partnership with
Indigenous communities and leadership, to listen to Indigenous women, courageously uncover
the causes, and develop holistic and responsive solutions.
The impact is being felt from coast to coast to coast and in order to address these tragedies all
Canadians and levels of government must act together. We were pleased to learn that
Ministers Valcourt and Ambrose will be attending the Roundtable. However, we ask that you
would also, as leader of this country, make every effort to attend. Your presence and
participation at the Roundtable would send a strong and definitive message that violence
against and exploitation of Indigenous women and children is not acceptable in Canada.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your response.
Chair, Human Trafficking in Canada Working Group
The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, M.P., Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
The Honourable Kellie Leitch, M.P., Minister of the Status of Women
The Honourable Peter MacKay, M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
The Honourable Steven Blaney, M.P., Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, M.P., Minister of Health
Thomas Mulcair, M.P., Leader of the Official Opposition
Justin Trudeau, M.P., Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Elizabeth May, M.P., Leader of the Green Party of Canada