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Nurses in Canada respond to long-awaited federal inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

August 3, 2016, Ottawa — Nurses are encouraged by the federal government’s launch of a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and are deeply committed to supporting the inquiry’s work. As nurses, we stand united to reaffirm our responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting the health and well-being of Indigenous women.

“This long-overdue initiative is a landmark moment for Indigenous families who have lost a loved one,” said Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA) president Lisa Bourque-Bearskin. “We are hopeful that this inquiry will lead to concrete actions in reducing violence against Indigenous women across the country. We also call for a thorough analysis of law enforcement and systemic deconstruction of the Indian Act to ensure a greater equity in protection services for Indigenous women in Canada.”

“This is an important and long-awaited inquiry to finally address the unacceptable violence against Indigenous women,” said Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) CEO Anne Sutherland Boal. “We expect this inquiry will directly involve and consult Indigenous groups broadly throughout Canada, including CINA and families who have lost a loved one, so they can rest assured that concrete actions will be taken to reduce this violence against Indigenous women.”

In the spirit of collaboration, CNA and CINA are committed to working together to support and advance the nursing profession to provide a wide range of culturally safe, high-quality care needed for improved health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples.

Nurses contribute significantly to the care of Indigenous women. To date, nurses have not been meaningfully involved in the federal government’s consultation process. As nurses are often the first point of access for women who have been victimized, we have an important voice to lend to this inquiry.

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CINA is the longest standing indigenous health organization in Canada that is governed by a board of directors whose mission is to improve the health of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis Peoples, by supporting First Nation, Inuit and Métis nurses and by promoting the development and professional practice of Aboriginal health nursing.

CNA is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:

Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 543
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca