Our Land Acknowledgement
The National Office of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) is in the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, which is now known to many as Ottawa, Ontario. Ottawa remains home to many First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples from across Turtle Island. While our main office is in Ottawa, our work is done across the land known as Canada and so, our work takes place on the traditional territories of many different nations.
Many within the CAEFS network are white settlers from European ancestry; some have come to Canada through other histories of colonialism rooted in slavery and forced migration; and there are many of us who are Indigenous to Turtle Island. It is critical to acknowledge our relationship to this land and to colonialism, and to work in solidarity with Indigenous communities towards decolonization.
As an organization that advocates for criminalized women and gender-diverse peoples, we note that Indigenous women are the fastest growing prison population in Canada - the number of incarcerated Indigenous women has risen by over 90% in the past decade. While Indigenous people make up only 5% of the Canadian population, Indigenous women make 42% of people serving sentences in the federal prisons designated for women.
We echo the demands from Indigenous communities to the Canadian Government to implement the calls to action from the reports released by the National Inquiry into Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission - in particular CA 31, 41, and 43 - in order to help address this persistent and growing issue.