September 13, 2017
THE NUU-CHAH-NULTH TRIBAL COUNCIL HOSTS A MURDERED AND MISSING INDIGENIOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS GATHERING FOR NUU-CHAH-NULTH FAMILIES
The gathering is the first time any First Nation’s territory has hosted its own healing event for MMIWG in Canada
(Port Alberni, B.C.) The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s (NTC) Teechuktl Mental Health department hosted Canada’s first healing gathering for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) on Nuu-chah-nulth territory this week. The three-day event has been held at the Maht Mahs gym on Tseshaht First Nation land since Tuesday, September 12th and will conclude at 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 14th.
“The gathering will be a chance for Nuu-chah-nulth families and loved ones to share space and receive support, both emotionally and culturally as part of their healing journey,” explained Debra Foxcroft, President for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “It’s our duty to provide an opportunity to bring our people together to share their stories in a culturally safe way and start their healing journey supported by other Nuu-chah-nulth families.”
The decision to host a healing gathering came to fruition after Nuu-chah-nulth families attended a special provincial ceremony in Prince George, B.C. in early 2016, but there wasn't enough time available to share all their stories. The Nuu-chah-nulth MMIWG gathering will be an opportunity for all Nuu-chah-nulth families to share while remaining close to home and their culture thanks to the financial support of both the National Inquiry into MMIWG and the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. To avoid further trauma or disrespect to these families from having to relive their experiences, representatives from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will be in attendance to privately collect statements from families.\
“We want to strengthen and support families and communities, and we see the incredible value in communities organizing gatherings like this one,” said Marion Buller, Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. “It’s vital for us to work with communities to support families and survivors so they can share their story in the way that is safe and meaningful for them. Every story someone shares with us we treat as a sacred gift. We treat other expressions, like songs and dances, in the same way.”
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are proud to partner on this significant event for Nuu-chah-nulth families that is the first of its kind in Canada. Both organizations look forward to seeing many more MMIWG cultural healing gatherings for all First Nations across Canada.
About the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) provides programs and services to over 9,000 registered members. The role of the NTC is to represent fourteen First Nations in three regions stretching 300 kilometers of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island from Brooks Peninsula in the North to Point-no-Point in the south. Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council represents Ahousaht, Ditidaht, Ehattesaht, Hesquiaht, Hupacasath, Huu-ay-aht, Kyuquot/Cheklesaht, Mowachaht /Muchalaht, Nuchatlaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Toquaht, Tseshaht, Uchucklesaht and Ucluelet First Nations and provides a variety of programs and services to them. For more information, please visit www.nuuchahnulth.org.
About the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
As we examine the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women, girls and members of the LGBTQ2S community in Canada, we are putting the families first. Our values are honesty, openness, inclusivity, compassion, courage, fairness and respect. We are seeking the truth about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S people while—most importantly—holding our women, girls and LGBTQ2S people sacred. It is our goal to provide those sharing their stories with a culturally safe space that they can access with support surrounding them. Our work is connected to the land and rooted in traditions that have kept Indigenous communities strong for thousands of years.
For more information, please contact:
Debra Foxcroft, President
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
P: 250.724.5757 ext. 231
Nazaneen Dizai, Communications Coordinator
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
P: 250.724.5757 ext. 286
Bernée Bolton, Director of Communications
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls