Decision Maker

Carolyn Bennett

  • Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

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Petitioning Carolyn Bennett

Call a public inquiry into hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women like my cousin Loretta Saunders

My cousin Loretta Saunders was murdered at age 26. She was a student at St. Mary's University in Halifax and was writing her honours thesis on the hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Our family is Inuit, and Loretta has now become one of the over 1186 missing or murdered Aboriginal women she was fighting for. It is time for our government to address this epidemic of violence against Aboriginal women. Our family is gathering strength and we will not let her death be in vain. We will fight to complete Loretta's unfinished work. Please sign this petition and call on Federal Minister for the Status of Women Kellie Leitch to immediately call a public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. The Native Women's Association of Canada and other groups have worked on this for years and I started this petition to support them and to demand justice for Loretta. We need to know why it is that Aboriginal girls and women like Loretta are five to seven times more likely to die as a result of violence than non-Aboriginal women. This is what a public inquiry must address immediately so that action can be taken to stop these tragedies and protect aboriginal girls and women in Canada. The Government has so far ignored calls for a public inquiry. If they don't act the tragedies will continue.  The epidemic of racist and sexist violence against Aboriginal women in Canada is claiming lives and devastating families each month. It boils down to a simple question. Does the Canadian Government think it's a problem that Aboriginal women are 5-7 times more likely to die from a violent attack? Right now, we don't know. I'm praying that Loretta's death and tens of thousands calling for the inquiry will finally move them to do the right thing. I travelled from Labrador to St.Johns with Loretta when she left home.  We talked about our Inuit roots, our family and our pasts and how we looked at our future as an opportunity to create change and different more healthy cycles and family patterns.  We spoke about the topic of aboriginal women going missing and being killed. We joked about how she would change the world, but it wasn’t really a joke at all. Loretta HAS changed the world and. I'm determined that Loretta will continue to change the world. Please sign this petition and demand justice for Loretta and all Aboriginal women. As mentioned the Native Women's Association of Canada has worked on this issue for years and has already collected 23,000 signatures calling for a public inquiry.  Here is a link to their site as well as their document explaining in more detail why a public inquiry is needed. 

Holly Jarrett
351,739 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau

Pass A Federal Act to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Canada

Three and a half years ago my life changed forever when a friend told me about the Highway Of Tears. I learned that on this stretch of highway in northern British Columbia, at least 40 women and girls had gone missing, the majority of them from aboriginal communities -- and the Canadian government hadn't done anything about it. As I began to investigate the stories of these women and girls, my outrage grew. I wanted all of Canada to hear these stories for themselves and to know the anguish felt by families. I wanted to help advocate for a solution. So I started making a documentary called "Highway Of Tears." Once the documentary was finished, I thought my journey was over -- but it was really just beginning. At screenings across Canada, I heard thousands of stories of violence against aboriginal women and girls - not just along the Highway of Tears. What's more - I learned that very few families have had any closure or justice for their lost loved ones. That’s why I’m asking you to sign this petition telling Canada’s government to implement A FEDERAL ACT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA. Thanks to the tireless efforts of aboriginal leaders, most Canadians know about the need for a national inquiry into this issue. We’ve seen the government ignore their voices, even as the world has begun to take notice, and the United Nations has condemned Canada for inaction I've started this petition with the support of communities and families of missing women, including Mary Teegee, Carrier Sekani Family Services and The Highway of Tears Initiative. By signing this petition, you're telling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make a Federal Act to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women a priority, in addition to a national inquiry. I’ve been fortunate to travel country over the last year to meet with community leaders, activists, MPs and Senators.  I can tell you firmly from the bottom of my heart that this FEDERAL ACT is 100% necessary to protecting women and girls by improving the criminal justice response to violence. And it’s something many of our political leaders already support.  While I’m not asking all of you to join us in searching for lost family members or solving crimes, I am asking for you to join us in spirit. I am committed to pushing the Government of Canada to not only conduct a national inquiry, but to also implement a FEDERAL ACT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA. Thank you for joining us.   

Matt Smiley
43,749 supporters
Petitioning Hon. Minister of Health Jane Philpott, Carolyn Bennett, Justin Trudeau

Save Indigenous services needed to fight HIV and AIDS in Canada

The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) and many Indigenous and non Indigenous HIV service organizations in Canada have had their federal funding drastically cut or completely discontinued all across the country. The impact of Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)'s decision to severely reduce funding for CAAN decimates the leading voice of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples living with HIV or AIDS and organizations that are members of CAAN and will have far-reaching consequences on both Indigenous health and reconciliation. Just two weeks after the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Montreal, where the federal government pledged $804 million to international efforts on AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the PHAC has sent out devastating letters telling HIV service providers that funding will be cut and the results have been catastrophic for the entire sector. For over 20 years, federally-administered HIV programs have provided CAAN with critical funding to initiate national programs and partnerships. This funding has allowed CAAN to provide the vital Indigenous connection, perspective, and capacity required for equitable health solutions and wise investment strategies that are well beyond the reach of governments alone and require Indigenous, private sector and other supports as well. Please sign this petition to help hold the process accountable in order to restore and create wellness opportunities for all Indigenous Peoples. We call for: 1)    Internal review of PHAC’s decision-making processes. 2)   Review of policies to ensure benefits and necessary infrastructure support funding is extended to community-based organizations. 3)    Let CAAN be the visionary leaders needed to maintain the momentum for change so that we can make a difference in the lives of Indigenous peoples and communities in Canada. For more information read this:  CBC News article.

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN)
11,204 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau

Stop the Rezoning for Condos - Honour the Indigenous Stewardship of the Chaudière Islands

The Chaudière Falls and its islands in Canada's Capital have been a sacred healing and meeting place for Indigenous peoples from the East coast to the Rockies for more than 5,000 years. We ask all Canadians to support our call to keep these islands and waters open to all Canadians under the stewardship of the Indigenous community. This land and water was never ceded by treaty or sold to any government. For the past 65 years many citizens and their elected leaders on both sides of the Ottawa River have lauded the vision of Grandfather William Commanda who lobbied for the creation of a central park for all, and an indigenous national healing and peace centre. For the last thirty years, architect Douglas Cardinal has worked tirelessly to keep that vision alive. He supports the August 2015 statements by four Algonquin chiefs from Quebec and other Indigenous leaders who oppose a condo proposal by Windmill Development Group and Dream Corporation In the spirit of reconciliation, we ask the federal party leaders to respond to the call by Algonquin and other Indigenous communities to honour Indigenous rights, and to restore this unique waterfall and its surrounding islands to the stunning beauty that lies beneath industrial ruins and a ring dam. Useful information can be found at: Our website: Sept 30, 2015 4 Algonquin Chiefs requesting a meeting with all levels of government in opposition to the current Energy Ottawa destructive excavations: August 18, 2015; Four Algonquin First Nations in Quebec call for protection of sacred site: August 19, 2015; Assembly of First Nations Quebec Labrador: B.C. First Nations Leadership: Asinabka: National Historic Centre at the sacred Chaudière site: October 5, 2014; Ottawa Citizen; Fulfill Commanda’s Vision for Chaudière:   (VERSION FRANÇAISE)  

Gita Baack
5,046 supporters
Petitioning Hon. Kellie Leitch - Ministre de la Condition Féminine

Lancez une enquête publique sur les centaines de disparitions et d'assassinats de femmes aborigènes comme ma cousine Loretta Saunders

Le mois dernier, ma cousine Loretta Saunders, 26 ans, a été assassinée. Elle était étudiante à l'Université St. Mary, à Halifax au Canada et a écrit sa thèse de spécialisation sur les centaines de femmes aborigènes disparues et assassinées dans le pays. Notre famille est inuit et Loretta est devenue l'une des plus de 800 femmes aborigènes disparues ou assassinées pour qui elle se battait. Il est temps que notre gouvernement réponde à cette épidémie de violence contre les femmes aborigènes. La semaine dernière, nous nous sommes effondrés quand nous avons appris que le corps de Loretta avait été retrouvé dans un fossé au bord de la route transcanadienne au Nouveau Brunswick. Notre famille reprend ses forces et nous n'avons pas l'intention d'accepter que sa mort soit en vain. Nous allons nous battre pour terminer le travail inachevé de Loretta. Vous pouvez nous aider : signez cette pétition qui appelle la ministre fédérale de la Condition féminine Kellie Leitch à organiser immédiatement une enquête publique sur les disparitions et meurtres de femmes aborigènes au Canada. L'Association des femmes aborigènes du Canada et d'autres groupes ont travaillé sur ce projet depuis des années et j'ai lancé cette pétition pour les soutenir et pour exiger justice pour Loretta. Nous devons savoir pourquoi les filles et les femmes aborigènes comme Loretta sont cinq à sept fois plus susceptibles de mourir à la suite de violences que les femmes non aborigènes. C'est ce à quoi l'enquête publique doit répondre immédiatement afin que des mesures puissent être prises pour mettre fin à ces tragédies et protéger les filles et les femmes aborigènes au Canada. Le gouvernement a jusqu'ici ignoré ces appels pour une enquête publique. S'ils n'agissent pas, les tragédies continueront. L'épidémie de violence raciste et sexiste contre les femmes aborigènes au Canada prend des vies et détruit des familles chaque mois. Cela se résume en une simple question. Est-ce que le gouvernement canadien pense qu'il est normal que les femmes aborigènes soient 5 à 7 fois plus susceptibles de mourir d'agressions violentes ? À l'heure actuelle, nous ne savons pas. Je prie pour que la mort de Loretta et les dizaines de milliers d'appels pour l'ouverture d'une enquête les pousseront enfin à faire ce qui est juste. J'ai voyagé de Labrador à St.Johns avec Loretta quand elle a quitté la maison. Nous avons parlé de nos racines inuites, de notre famille et de notre passé et de comment nous voyions notre avenir comme une occasion de créer un changement et de créer des cycles et des rythmes plus sains pour les familles. Nous avons parlé de la question des femmes aborigènes disparues et tuées. Nous avons plaisanté sur la façon dont Loretta allait changer le monde, mais ce n'était vraiment pas une blague. Loretta a changé le monde et je suis déterminée à ce que Loretta continue à changer le monde . Merci de signer cette pétition et de demander justice pour Loretta et toutes les femmes aborigènes. Comme indiqué,  l'Association des femmes aborigènes du Canada a travaillé sur cette question pendant des années et a déjà recueilli 23 000 signatures appelant à une enquête publique. Voici un lien vers leur site ainsi que leur document expliquant plus en détail pourquoi une enquête publique est nécessaire (en anglais).

Holly Jarrett
351,739 supporters
Petitioning Catherine McKenna, Justin Trudeau, Carolyn Bennett, Hunter Tootoo, Christy Clark, Jody Wilson-Raybould

Stop the Petronas LNG project on Lelu Island

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister McKenna, I stand with Hereditary Chief Yahaan (Donald Wesley) of the Tsimshian First Nation and 70+ First Nations leaders, prominent scientists, businesses, faith groups, unions, environmental organizations, and university groups across BC calling on you to reject the Petronas (Pacific Northwest) LNG plant proposed for Lelu Island and Flora Bank, and to cancel ongoing test-drilling at the site.   I ask that you consider the catastrophic impact this project will have on the Skeena salmon, the second largest wild salmon run in Canada. 10 First Nations and 60,000 people in the Skeena watershed rely on these fish for food, commercial/sport fishing and culture.  Lelu Island and Flora Bank are the worst possible spots on the north coast to site an LNG facility. Research conducted as far back as the 1970’s by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans clearly shows that this location should never be industrially developed. Recent studies conclusively show that 88% of all Skeena salmon, approximately 330 million out-migrating smolts per year, rely on Flora Bank for shelter, food and protection as they adjust from fresh water to salt water. A massive LNG terminal with super tankers could disrupt the balance of complex river and tidal currents that hold the relic sediments of Flora Bank in place, eventually degrading and destroying this critically important habitat. I urge you to respect the decision of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation, who despite being offered over $1 billion dollars by PNW LNG to support the project, voted 100% unanimously against this project on their traditional territory. They stated clearly that Flora Banks is off-limits to industrial development.  The Federal Government has promised to renew Canada’s relationship with First Nations and protect northern BC’s irreplaceable marine resources. If you stand by these commitments, you will reject the pending approval of the Pacific Northwest LNG project by CEAA, and you will direct the test drilling on Flora Bank to cease. Finally, please read the following letter from Hereditary Chief Yahaan and view the list of signatories:!letter-to-prime-minister-trudeau-pnw-lng/n76zu  

Lelu Island
2,197 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau, Kathleen Wynne, Marc Garneau, Carolyn Bennett, Catherine McKenna, Terry Sheehan, Carol Hughes, Steven Del Duca, Michael Gravelle, David Zimmer, Glen R. Murray

Northern Ontario Needs Passenger Trains too!

URGENT: restore Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst and the Northlander passenger service For our local economies To reduce carbon emissions For socio-economic connectivity Both the Canadian government and the Ontario government need a transportation policy, plan, and investment that include transporting both passengers and freight by rail. This is essential for our competitiveness in the world economy, for reducing carbon emissions and for socio-economic connectivity. Stop the abandonment of rail and support the safest, more efficient and least polluting mode of transportation: trains.Without rail as part of Northern Ontario’s transportation system, most of our communities are not sustainable. We need reliable, safe, all-season, accessible and affordable passenger train service throughout Northern Ontario connected to Toronto and Ottawa. FRANCAIS: URGENT: rétablissez le service du train de passagers entre Sault-Ste-Marie et Hearst et du Northlander Pour stimuler chacune de nos économies locales Pour réduire les émissions de carbone Pour améliorer nos réseaux socioéconomiques Au Premier ministre Justin Trudeau et à la Première ministre, Kathleen Wynne:Le gouvernement du Canada et de l’Ontario a besoin d’une politique en matière de transport, une stratégie et du financement qui comprend le transport de personnes et de marchandises par train. C’est essentiel pour concurrencer dans l’économie globale, pour réduire les émissions de carbone et d’améliorer nos réseaux socioéconomiques. Il faut cesser d’abandonner nos chemin de fer, mais plutôt d’appuyer ce mode de transport qui est parmi l’une des plus sécuritaires, efficace et moins polluant..Sans au réseau ferroviaire dans le nord de l’Ontario, la plupart de nos communautés ne sont pas durables. Nous avons besoin d’un service de trains de voyageurs sécuritaire, fiable, accessible et abordables à travers le nord de l’Ontario vers à Toronto et Ottawa. ANISHINABEMOWIN: Gayii gwa Northern Ontario Minesinaawa Emowizhejig Shkwode-daabaanag! Aabideg gwa wewep neyaap Sault biinish Hearst miinwaa Northlander shkwode-daabaan mishowe wii-temgad Wii-mino-maajiishkaang Gayii aapiji da-tesinoo e’wiinaapteg e’biingenaamiying Jide moowingaasowad geg enakiijig, ji-mino-maajiishkaamgak kina gegoo Nen niish gwa Canadian naakinigewin miinwaa Ontario naakinigewin minesinaawa wazhi minshamoowad midaabaangoong, naakinigewin miinwaa wazhi biindigeshkaamigak zhoonyaa wii moowingaasowad bemaadizijig miinwaa endendaagwag menesing gwonda shkwode-daabaanag emwidoowad. Aapiji gwa mineshkaamigad maanda wii-taageying gegiinwi kina gwaji-Shkakmigaang, mii gayii aapiji da-tesinoo e’wiinaapteg wa biindigenaamying miinwaa jide moowingaasowad geg enakiijig, geg aabideg wazhajig gchi-odenoong wii-naandowejigaasowad aakozii-gamigoong, geg ewo-waabmaad dinwendaaginiwan, niibina gwa gegoo nendaagwod ji-mino-maajiishkaamgak. Be-gda-boontaami bigidanamiing nanda shkwode-daabaan miikanan mii dash ji-aasgaabiwiitaadiying wii-naagidoowendamang mayiiji wenpanak, mayiiji nishining, mena-e’wiinaapisayiid nowan ezhi-midaabaangoong: shkwode-daabaanag.Giishpin shkwode-daabaanag boowayaawad gayii gwanaa ginige gda-gshkitamaasiimi memi-dadaying.Ga-minesinaa e’wankiiyendaagasid, miinwaa e’gwetaanbizod mishiwe shkwode-daabaan kina gwa gwaji Northern Ontario, e’de-digwoshing Toronto miinwaa Ottawa, pane waamibizod manj gwa pii, noondaach e'nagasid bemaadizijig jide gshkitoowad wii-dibagewad midaabaangoowad.  CREE:  Please follow the link to read the Cree translation:  

Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains
1,768 supporters
Petitioning Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Elizabeth May, Carolyn Bennett

End the Gap in Funding for First Nations Schools

First Nations schools get 30%-50% less government funding for their education than similar schools off reserve. Each year that we spend less on First Nations education we tell First Nations children that their dreams matter less. This is the wrong message to send to any child.  That's why we are calling on all political parties to work together to #EndtheGap and provide fair funding to First Nations children right now! It's time to stop using First Nations' kids futures as political bargaining chips and to support their humanity. The Liberal Party's pledge to end the gap after their four year mandate is not adequate for children who need support now. All kids have dreams. Some get less. Together, we will do better.  To learn more check out   All kids have dreams. Some get less. Together, we will do better.  To learn more check out  

End The Gap Fair Funding For First Nations Schools
1,728 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau

Remove this Racist Non-Native Woman-Imposter Chief Katherine Cannon

“Racist Non-Native Woman” Elected 2014 Elections for Algonquin Negotiation Representative We need support! There is a con-woman, Katherine Cannon who has just been elected as the 2014 Algonquin Negotiation Representative. She is calling herself Chief Katherine Cannon and is convincing everyone that she is a native woman and is claiming that she is a direct descendant of the late Chief John Baptiste and his wife Madeline Benoit Konini. She has never had anything but contempt for Natives until it was at a point where it would benefit her. This woman is NOT Native and I know first-hand that she despises native people!  My legal name is Rosemarie Ethel Christie. My maiden name is Paddy.  My two sisters and I are First Nation from the Thunderchild Reserve in Saskatchewan. We were raised and abused by this woman on a daily basis. I was told daily that we were filthy Indians who would never be more than prostitutes and have 20 children before we got married. She told me that our mother was an Indian Squaw who didn’t want us and nobody wanted us. She is very convincing.  She was even able to keep us in her care when we had letters from both our parents asking that we be returned to Thunderchild First Nation. We even had an escort come from Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan to return us to our reserve but a road block was set up and we were not allowed to go. Of course it was in Katherine Cannon's benefit to have us stay and work for her, for free, as maids, cooks, gardeners, basically anything her or her daughters asked of us, and we were there to be abused and belittled.   We lived with this woman for approximately 13 years and I know personally that when I ran away I kept running. It has been approximately 35 years and I have just moved back to my home of Ontario in February, 2014. It has just come to our attention that she has convinced the community and First Nation communities that she is Native and I have read articles in the Bancroft Times where she is reminiscing about nights she had teachings from her mother about her native culture. In the 13 years we lived in that household I never EVER heard her say even “1” good thing about Natives. All of the stories that she has come up with have been fabricated. Evidently she has been doing this for a number of years.   Again I have to say...She never had anything but contempt for Natives until it was at a point where it would benefit her. This is the website of Katherine Cannon   My older sister has tried to have her charged with abuse but because of the amount of years that had passed she was unable to proceed with Criminal Charges, at that time. My sister WAS able to take her to a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in 1997. At that proceeding, Katherine was in one building and my two sisters and I were placed in another building. The court proceeding was via audio. My sister produced a razor strap at this proceeding (a leather strap, that Katherine Cannon used to strap us). At this time, I think Katherine Cannon thought we had broken in to her house to retrieve the strap and she got very angry and blurted out something to the effect of “I never beat those kids more than once a day”..and then realizing what she had said she continued with “if they were running on the road or touching the stove”. We are in the process of acquiring the typed certified legal transcript of this confession and will make it public.   I have only been back to Ontario 3 times in the last 35 years. When I finally escaped that abusive household I kept running and it has taken me this long to try and heal. I tried not to talk about it, I didn’t know how to deal with it and I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed to be an Indian and I just wanted to forget any of it had ever happened.  It took me a very long time to learn to like myself. After meeting our Mother, Marie Watchmaker (Paddy),  in 1993, we finally learned the truth and even though it was engrained in us as children that we were dirty, disgusting and no-good, we have been able to unlearn all the negative and become proud First Nation Cree Women.   Windspeaker did an article when we met our mother:   I have lived on my late mother’s reserve for the past 10 years so that I could learn about my heritage and meet my family.  Now I am so proud to be First Nation. I had never felt I belonged anywhere so it sickens me physically to see this travesty.   I am not one to stand up for myself and I probably would have not bothered to do anything about the abuse inflicted by Katherine Cannon. I am shy and don’t like to draw too much attention to myself but when I saw the numerous articles speaking about her as a respected Elder in the community my sisters and I knew that we had to speak up.   Again, this is the website of Katherine Cannon   We CAN NOT be quiet any longer. We CAN NOT let this continue. We need JUSTICE to prevail. I swear this is the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. My two sisters, Darlene Paddy-Cannon and Sharon Cannon will be submitting their own petition and I hope you will support them as well. Darlene Paddy-Cannon's Petition can be found on Facebook Open Group - Stop Imposter Chief Katherine Cannon Can any REAL relatives of Chief John Baptiste please step forward and/or please contact us if you have any information that will help us prove this injustice? I can be reached at   We welcome any and all comments.   So to reiterate:   We need support! There is a con-woman, Katherine Cannon, born August 29, 1938,  who has just been elected as the 2014 Algonquin Negotiation Representative. She is calling herself Chief Katherine Cannon and is convincing everyone that she is a native woman and she is a direct descendant of the late Chief John Baptiste and his wife Madeline Benoit Konini. She is NOT!   Please, please sign our petition AND email the Algonquins of Ontario Office to ask WHY?   Katherine Cannon’s website link is the Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini (Bancroft)   Telephone: Toll Free: 1-855-735-3759                          

Rosie Christie
932 supporters
Call a public inquiry into hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women like my cousin Loretta Saunders

I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the friends and family of Loretta Saunders. I want them to know that Canadians stand shoulder to shoulder with them and share in their grief and outrage. Her family and friends have been very clear that they want their terrible loss to catalyze the changes necessary to stop the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada. I am adding my name to this petition because I believe that it is a truly important way to focus the attention all Canadians and the world about the need to fully identify the deep-seated causes such as racism and sexism and the need to fully implement the solutions that will finally be able to prevent the loss of any more indigenous mothers, daughters or sisters. This is not a women's issue, not an indigenous issue, this is a Canadian tragedy. The time for action on this has long since passed. I’m adding my voice to the thousands across Canada, including the friends and family of Loretta Saunders, the provincial and territorial premiers and the affiliated organizations, in demanding the government call a national inquiry and develop a meaningful action plan to end this Canadian tragedy. - Carolyn Bennett, MP for Toronto-St.Paul's, Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic

3 years ago