Motivated by the #Bring Back Our Girls social media phenomena, some Canadians have launched their own social media selfie campaign.
The campaign — dubbed #enquirynow — is meant to put pressure on the Harper government to hold a formal inquiry into the growing number of murdered or missing Aboriginal women.
As of Thursday afternoon, the campaign was picking up a bit of steam, with several members of parliament getting involved.
— Elizabeth May MP (@ElizabethMay) May 14, 2014
— Dr. Hedy Fry (@HedyFry) May 14, 2014
According to a recent RCMP report, the number missing or murdered — in the last 30 years — totals almost 1,200.
Calls for an inquiry have been far and wide.
Last summer, all of Canada's premiers joined the Assembly of First Nations, Amnesty International and all the federal opposition parties asking the Harper government for one. And more recently, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, joined the chorus of voices.
"During his visit to Canada the Special Rapporteur heard consistent, insistent calls across the country for a comprehensive, nation-wide inquiry, organized in consultation with indigenous peoples, that could provide an opportunity for the voices of the victims’ families to be heard, deepen understanding of the magnitude and systemic dimensions of the issue, and identify best practices that could lead to an adequately coordinated response," notes his report.
Michèle Audette of the Native Woman's Association of Canada is leading the selfie campaign which, incidentally, corresponds with Friday's release of a final RCMP report on missing and murdered aboriginal women. She says the selfies are about building on all that momentum and keeping up the pressure on the government.
"There's a selfie campaign for bringing back the girls in Nigeria," Audette told Yahoo Canada News.
"Well we have 1,200 girls, women missing or dead. Then [why] don't we have justice in Canada for our stolen sisters," she told Yahoo Canada News.
Audette says that the campaign is also for the families of murdered and missing women.
"Can you imagine how family members are feeling when they see this," she said.
"That they have support. They're not alone. Not isolated. And a lot of people care for them."
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