MKO Encourages Government Officials to Work with Indigenous Peoples to Develop Action Plans to Improve Safety
Oct 15, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is responding to stories published by the Winnipeg Free Press that provide details about the man charged with second degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Norma Andrews. Ms. Andrews, a member of Manto Sipi Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, was killed in Winnipeg on September 21, 2019.
The stories published last week provided details that show the man accused of murdering Ms. Andrews was out on bail following a violent machete attack in Winnipeg on another woman earlier this year.
Grand Chief Garrison Settee shares the following statement in response to the life and death of Norma Andrews:
“MKO is aware that when Norma was alive, she sought out services and resources to help her to improve her life. We are concerned about reports shared by the Winnipeg Free Press that explain that a violent perpetrator was able to freely walk the streets of Winnipeg. Like many Manitoba residents, we want the justice system to be accountable to help decrease the high rates of violence we are experiencing in our province and especially in the City of Winnipeg.
In this tragic circumstance, the fact remains that Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, and gender diverse people are living in environments that are unsafe. We too often see that perpetrators of violence towards Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, and gender diverse people are not held accountable or receive lenient sentences. We must work together to take proactive and preventive action to reduce violence in our province.
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its Final Report on June 3, 2019. This report contains 231 Calls for Justice that, if actioned, would work towards ending violence perpetrated towards Indigenous people.
I urge all governments to work with Indigenous communities to end the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples. As the Grand Chief of MKO, I am ready to sit with officials to develop action plans that are led by Indigenous peoples. We need to have meaningful dialogue and continued engagement in developing and implementing long-term sustainable actions and solutions that improve safety for everyone.”