(Toronto – June 3, 2020) One year ago, on June 3, 2019, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) National Inquiry delivered their final report titled “Reclaiming Power and Place.” On May 26, 2020, Minister Bennett confirmed that the National Action Plan to implement the Calls for Justice would be delayed past the June 3, 2020 release.
“When this long-awaited MMIWG inquiry report came out a year ago, it included Calls for Justice directed to Canada to ensure Indigenous women and girls felt safe. It provided a clear roadmap to address the structural forces, like colonialism, underpinning the violence and served as an opportunity for families and survivors to tell their stories and feel heard.
Twelve months have passed, and yet no action plan exists. This work needed to start immediately after the report was released, and long before COVID-19, there was ample time to develop this National Action Plan. The high rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQQIA2S+ community have continued to increase, even more so during this pandemic.
I ask all levels of government to accelerate their work and fiscal investments to address this ongoing national tragedy. The National Action Plan needs to be led by family members and survivors to ensure the implementation of the Calls for Justice are practical and solutions-oriented to the on the ground realities of Indigenous women’s lives and communities. Further, Indigenous governments and Indigenous women’s organizations should be supported in the implementation of an annual “Missing and Murder Indigenous Women and Girls, Calls for Justice, Report Card”.
The time for action is now. I am calling on all levels of government to collaboratively continue this vital work and drive our solutions and innovative approaches forward to ensure that we are implementing community-based, trauma-informed responses and protocols. In this age of intergenerational trauma and healing, we know we must invest more in mental health and social programs and services to strengthen our women, youth, and communities.
This is an important issue not just for First Nations but for all Canadians. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, their families and survivors, deserve the attention and full implementation to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and the LGBTQQIA2S+ community.
The 1,200-page MMIWG report outlines the conclusion that decades of systemic racism and human rights violations had contributed to the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of Indigenous women and girls in Canada and that it constituted genocide. This report also contains 231 Calls for Justice directed to all governments, industries, institutions, services, and partnerships (businesses), calls for all Canadians, and specific calls for Inuit, Metis, and LGBTQQIA2S+.”
Learn more about the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls, Calls for Justice here: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow the Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
Chiefs of Ontario – Media Contact: