IMPACT

'I'm Not Next' Responds To 'Am I Next?,' Reiterates Inquiry Call (TWEETS)

09/16/2014 02:42 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:53 EDT

Indigenous women across Canada have an answer to the question, "Am I Next?"

The hashtag "#ImNotNext" has sprung up on social media in response to a previous campaign which aimed to put pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to call an inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The new campaign reiterates that call, but it also removes a sense of victimhood, Feather Pewapisconias, a University of Saskatchewan aboriginal ambassador, told CBC News.

"I think it's important to have control in yourself because I'd rather not see myself as a victim," she said.

CTV has traced "#Imnotnext" back to Sarah Rainville, a woman from Nahkawe territory who, on Sept. 7, posted a powerful picture on her Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter with a message that criticized the "Am I Next?" campaign.

The message read as follows:

"Harper doesn't care about our indigenous women. Colonialism is a rape culture. I will not ask if I'm next. I decided after all the trauma I went through, that I would fight 'til the death of me. #imnotnext I will not remain a victim. Our people will heal. We're our sisters keepers. Asking 'am I next?' creates an expectation; saying we're inherently rapeable/killable. Say no to victimhood. #ImNotNext #StrongIndigenous."

Several more social media users adopted the #ImNotNext hashtag in the days that followed.

Rainville herself tweeted another picture under the hashtag.

For his part, Harper has resisted calls for an inquiry into the issue, saying that it should be treated as a criminal, not a sociological problem.

His attitude comes in stark contrast to that of the NDP and the Liberals. Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair has said he would call an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women within 100 days of forming a government.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, has said that Harper is on the "wrong side of history" in opposing an inquiry.

Here are some more posts that appeared on social media under the "#ImNotNext" hashtag.

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