Wednesday, March 7, 2007

racist and sexist email ; Women of the Métis Nation calls for action

Women of the Métis Nation calls for action on racist and sexist email distribution

OTTAWA, March 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Women of the Métis Nation is dismayed at the issue of the racist email that has been disseminated by the Science and Industry department in the Northwest Territories.

Tomorrow is the International Women's Day, and the Federal Government has continually indicated that it understands the plight of Aboriginal women. Acknowledging the inappropriateness of its Ministry's staff and apologizing to Aboriginal women across Canada would best demonstrate a commitment to address these issues. The Federal Government at the very least should make the Acting General Manager, Mr. Michael Hurst give a public apology for the dissemination of this material.

"These actions often desensitize people and further perpetuate the stigmas around Aboriginal women," says Rosemarie McPherson, spokesperson for Women of the Métis Nation.

Due to the many real measures of missing Aboriginal women and Aboriginal women dying on the streets and northern Canadian communities - the leaders of Canada must make a strong and public stand to clearly identify that these types of racist and sexist materials are not acceptable.

Women of the Métis Nation is disheartened to hear that emails would be passed around through Government of Canada employees, which perpetuates the view that Aboriginal women should be treated with less value and respect than other women.

The racist and sexist e-mail distributed by federal government employees in the Northwest Territories showed three young white women, all naked, alongside a photo of a middle-aged intoxicated aboriginal woman, with her shirt pulled up and breasts exposed. The subject line read: "Can you spot Miss NWT? Watch out for the last one, it will knock you off your feet!"

For further information: Zoran Vidic, Communications Officer, (613) 232-3216, Cell: (613) 295-9298


Also see: Email sparks outrage from womens groups