We call upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal organizations, to appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls. The inquiry’s mandate would include:

  1. Investigation into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
  2. Links to the intergenerational legacy of residential schools

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusJan. 10, 2022STALLED
Previous StatusDec. 5, 2021STALLED

Why “STALLED”?

Entitled Reclaiming Power and Place, the National Inquiry’s two-volume final report released on June 3, 2019 calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country. It delivers 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians in addition to the recommendations and calls for immediate action included in the Interim Report.

Carolyn Bennett announced on May 26, 2020 that the government’s response to the MMIWG Final Report would not be released as expected in June. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, she was unable to predict when the Action Plan could be expected.

The comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy expands access to a continuum of culturally relevant supports for Indigenous women, children and LGBTQ and two-spirit people facing gender – based violence. funding for Child Welfare services and $85.6M for First Nations and Métis women’s shelters. The government has committed $85.6M for First Nations and Métis women’s shelters and additional funding for the construction and operation of shelters for Inuit women across Inuit Nunangat.

June 3, 2021 – The federal government’s MMIWG Action Plan is widely panned by a majority of Indigenous women’s advocacy groups for its lack of substantive details, timelines or budget: Ontario Native Women’s Association (not invited to participate), Québec Native Women, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University, Feminist Alliance for International Action, BC Union of Indian Chiefs and Marion Bullard, former lead Commissioner of the MMIWG Inquiry  ALL find the government’s Action Plan too general and deficient in details.

June 3, 2021 – The AFN and the AFN Women’s Council released “Breathing Life inro the Calls for Justice: An Action Plan to End Violence Against First Nations Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People” with recommendations in four priority areas:

  • Justice: address barriers and inequalities in Canada’s justice system
  • Human security: ensure equitable access to basic needs, including shelter, food, and education
  • Health and wellness: provide services and programs that are culturally appropriate and trauma informed
  • Culture as safety: make cultural identity a priority in all preventative, supportive, and healing activities

June 1, 2021: Toronto Star – The Native Women’s Association of Canada “has lost confidence in the federal government and is walking away from the ‘toxic, dysfunctional’ process” to develop its own action plan “Our Calls, Our Actions…The plan includes 65 costed actions to address the MMIWG Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice estimated to cost $30M annually.

Dec. 15, 2020 – Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs announced their ongoing plans to develop and implement a distinctions-based, regionally relevant, and accountable National Action Plan but offered no timelines or details other than $35 million over six years and $6 million ongoing for Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA organizations to continue to consult with their members and ensure the National Action Plan remains accountable and evergreen.

The Ontario Native Women’s Association released “Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of MMIWG (2020)” on Oct. 4, 2020 highlighting 13 key recommendations covering 28 systems to help guide the development of the National Action Plan.

Related Legislation

Aug. 15, 2019 – Removal of the 1951 cut-off takes effect. “Bill S-3 An Act to Amend the Indian Act” received Royal assent in Dec. 12, 2017 ending 143 years of gender-based discrimination in the Indian Act.

Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry: Mandate

The Mandate of the National Inquiry

The National Inquiry must look into and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls, including sexual violence. We must examine the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional, and historical causes that contribute to the ongoing violence and particular vulnerabilities of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. The mandate also directs us to look into and report on existing institutional policies and practices to address violence, including those that are effective in reducing violence and increasing safety.

While the formal name of the Inquiry is “the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” our mandate covers all forms of violence. This makes our mandate very broad. By not being limited to investigating only cases of Indigenous women who went missing or were murdered, we can include women and girls who died under suspicious circumstances.

It also means we can address issues such as sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, bullying and harassment, suicide, and self-harm. This violence is interconnected, and can have equally devastating effects. Expanding the mandate beyond missing and murdered also creates space for more survivors to share their stories. They can help us look to the future from a place of experience, resilience, and hope.

Truth Gathering Process

The stories of families and survivors are the heart and soul of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The National Inquiry has three parts to its Truth Gathering Process.

  • Part I focused on gathering information from families and survivors through Community Hearings and Statement Gathering events. While registration for Part I events closed on April 20, 2018, through this process the National Inquiry heard 1484 testimonies from families and survivors in the following locations:
CityProvinceDate
WhitehorseYukonMay 31 – June 1 2017
SmithersBCSept. 26 – 28, 2017
WinnipegManitobaOct. 16 – 20, 2017
MembertouNova ScotiaOct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2017
EdmontonAlbertaNov. 7 – 9, 2017
SaskatoonSaskatchewanNov. 21- 23, 2017
MaliotenamQuebecNov. 27 – Dec. 1,2017
Thunder BayOntarioDec. 4 – 6, 2017
YellowknifeNWTJan, 23 – 25, 2018
MonctonNew BrunswickFeb. 13 – 14, 2018
Rankin InletNunavutFeb 20 – 22, 2018
Happy Valley-Goose Bay,Newfoundland and LabradorMar. 7 – 8, 2018
MontrealQuebecMarch 12 – 16, 2018
ThompsonManitobaMar. 20 – 21, 2018
VancouverBCApril 4 – 8, 2018
   
Prince GeorgeBCFeb. 5 – 7, 2018
Lower PostBCFeb. 28 – Mar. 2, 2018
Downtown Eastside, Van.BCMarch 27 – 29, 2018

Part II – Institutional Hearings

Institutional Hearings will examine the systemic causes of institutionalized violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ peoples and the policies and practices that are in place to keep women and girls safe. Through a series of Institutional hearings, the National Inquiry examines issues such as policing practices and relationships with Indigenous communities and hear from government service providers, health authorities and others. The National Inquiry also hear from grassroots and community organizations (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) to gather their knowledge and on-the-ground experience.

CityProvinceDateAgendaPurpose
CalgaryAlbertaMay 28 – June 1Government ServicesHow lack of mental-health care, victims services and housing contribute to the vulnerability of Indigenous women.
ReginaSaskatchewanJune 25 – June 29Police Policies and Practices 

Part III – Knowledge Keepers and Expert Hearings

Knowledge Keeper and Expert Hearings examine a range of key topics that inform the work of the National Inquiry. These hearings gather testimony from a wide range of experts that include Elders, Knowledge Keepers, academics, legal experts, front-line workers, young people and specialists. As part of the hearing process, National Inquiry lawyers and Parties with Standing have the opportunity to ask questions of the experts or cross-examine them for clarity.

The process is designed to ensure the National Inquiry receives best possible information and advice from the expert witnesses – evidence that helps the National Inquiry understand the systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA peoples and develop concrete recommendations that will reduce violence and increase safety.

Expert Hearings on topic such as Indigenous laws, decolonizing perspectives, human rights, racism, international law, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) provide the framework pieces that will shape the National Inquiry’s analysis and reasoning and help inform our decolonizing, gendered, culturally specific, and rights-based approach.

CityProvinceDate (2018)# of witnessesComment
Quebec CityQuebecMay 14 – May 17Human Rights Framework 
TorontoOntarioJune 12 – June 14Racism 
IqaluitNunavutSept. 10-13, 2018Colonial ViolenceSocio-economic, health and wellness impacts
Quebec CityQuebecSept. 17-21, 2018Criminal Justice SystemOversight and accountability
WinnipegManitobaOct. 1-5, 2018Family and Child WelfareFamily Supports and domestic violence
St. JohnsNfld. & Lab.Oct. 15-18, 2018Sexual ExploitationHuman trafficking and sexual violence
MMIWG Interim Report Recommendations and Government Response

As the National Inquiry focuses its attention on systemic causes of violence and concrete actions to end violence, with a decolonizing, gendered, human-rights framework, we endorse and will build upon existing recommendations. These include:

  • Federal, provincial, and territorial governments publicly acknowledging and condemning violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S people;
  • Federally coordinated, cross- jurisdictional national action plans on:
    • addressing violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people;
    • public education and greater public awareness of violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S people;
    • compensation for family members and/or a healing fund for survivors and families;
    • properly resourced initiatives and programming to address root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people;
    • improved access to safe housing for Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people;
    • responsive, accountable, and culturally appropriate child and family services;
    • bridging education (primary to post-secondary), skills training, and employment gaps between Indigenous peoples and non- Indigenous people;
    • addressing the disproportionate rates of poverty among Indigenous people, and Indigenous women specifically;
    • accessible and culturally appropriate health, mental health, addictions, and trauma services for Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people;
    • programming for Indigenous men to help break and prevent cycles of violence;
    • protecting Indigenous women,
      girls, and LGBTQ2S people involved in survival sex work or who are being trafficked for the purposes of
      sexual exploitation;
    • improving relationships between police services and Indigenous communities;
    • properly resourced and accessible community and restorative justice measures.
  • Law reform and/or repeal of discriminatory legislation, including persisting gender discrimination under the Indian Act;
  • Repudiation of concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius;
  • More comprehensive and ethical information-sharing concerning violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people;
  • More information concerning the performance of programs and strategies meant to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people;
  • Properly resourced programming that addresses violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people to be led by Indigenous peoples, especially Elders, Indigenous women, Two-Spirit and trans people, and Indigenous women’s organizations;
  • More frequent and accessible transportation services available to Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people;
  • More representative police forces with better resourced Indigenous liaison officers and units in local police forces;
  • More immediate, proactive, and thorough investigations into Indigenous women’s, girls’, and LGBTQ2S people’s deaths and disappearances;
  • More responsive, transparent, and accountable policing (including comprehensive and independent police oversight);
  • More culturally responsive and accessible victim services;
  • Better supported community-based first response (search and rescue);
  • Public commemoration of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

All recommendations aimed at ending violence and keeping Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people safe should include a decolonizing approach that recognizes the inherent jurisdictions of Indigenous Peoples, that solutions should stem from Indigenous communities and Nations, and that these solutions should be properly resourced by the appropriate jurisdictions.

Calls for Immediate Action

The National Inquiry calls for immediate action for:

  1. Implementation of all Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, particularly those that impact Indigenous women and children, including the immediate implementation of Jordan’s Principle and the immediate and full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation, and including a federal action plan, strategies, and other concrete measures to achieve the goals of UNDRIP;
    • Federal Government actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • To date, this has been partially implemented, and we recognize that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is in itself a fulfilled TRC Call to Action. Other actions include endorsing and passing New Democratic MP and reconciliation critic Romeo Saganash’s Bill 262, a private member’s bill aimed at ensuring that Canada’s laws are in harmony with those rights set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – a declaration that Saganash himself helped to create. At time of this writing, the Bill was in its second reading, in Senate. In 2018, the federal government had also agreed to work toward the equivalent of Jordan’s Principle for Inuit children, to ensure health care for them would not be delayed. In addition, Bill C-91, An Act Respecting Indigenous Languages, which would establish measures for long-term and sustainable funding for the support and promoting Indigenous languages, was unveiled in early 2019. Collectively, these are important pieces of work, which will require careful implementation and reporting. In particular, ensuring that the principles that animate them are applied to all services that can help to promote security and safety for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people is a complicated process, but one that we argue needs to move more urgently and quickly.
  2. Full compliance with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling (2016) that found that Canada was racially discriminating against First Nations children.
    • Federal Government actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • This has not been implemented. Canada has now received seven non-compliance orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT). The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society is back in court against Canada, which is now rejecting First Nations children’s claims based on their lack of Status as determined by the Indian Act. Aside from the many problems with assigning First Nations identity through colonial legislation such as the Indian Act, which we cover in more detail elsewhere in this report, the CHRT decision makes no distinction between Status and non-Status First Nations children, and the Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that Ottawa has a fiduciary duty to non-Status First Nations people, and to Métis. As of February 19, 2019, the tribunal issued interim relief orders for Jordan’s Principle in favour of the Caring Society, stating that non-Status First Nations children in urgent situations will be covered under Jordan’s Principle until the evidence has been heard regarding the definition of “First Nations.” Given that the Canadian Human Rights Act forbids discrimination based on race, it is the Caring Society’s position that Jordan’s Principle also applies to Inuit children where public services have been delayed or denied. The National Inquiry heartily agrees with Dr. Cindy Blackstock when she says: “When I look at the wealth of this country, I think that equality for First Nations children should come in a leap, not in a shuffle. And just frankly, if they can afford to spend five billion on a pipeline, they can afford to eradicate inequalities in education and other areas for their kids.”

National Inquiry Procedural Recommendations and Federal Government Response

Along with the endorsement of existing recommendations that can immediately address systemic violence and its underlying causes, the National Inquiry recommends the following:

  1. That the federal government find a way to provide the contact information of the families and survivors who participated in the pre-Inquiry process to the National Inquiry. Alternatively, that the federal government provide families and survivors who participated in the pre-Inquiry process information on how to participate in the National Inquiry.
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • To our knowledge, this was never done. Many families who participated in the pre-Inquiry consultation process told our Outreach and Support Services team members that while they were glad to see the National Inquiry moving forward, the registration process itself was confusing due to the manner in which Canada conducted its pre-Inquiry consultations. Many families believed that being part of those placed them on a list; the reality was that these were separate processes. The pre-Inquiry process led families to believe that we would have their contact information and we would reach out to them. Also, many families believed that as Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had their contact information, we would have that information too and reach out to them. This was not the case. We sincerely regret that family members and survivors experienced added stress and confusion regarding our registration process as a result.
  2. That federal, provincial, and territorial governments provide project funding, in addition to regular operational funds, to help ensure Indigenous organizations’ full and meaningful participation in the National Inquiry.
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • This recommendation was partially implemented. The federal government did increase funding to help improve the participation of the Parties with Standing, who consist mostly of Indigenous organizations, at the National Inquiry’s urging. However, many smaller community and grassroots organizations, which are already underfunded and understaffed, did not receive any additional funding to participate in the process or help the Inquiry do community outreach. In addition, the requirement to pre-pay expenses and then get reimbursed was taxing for already overstretched organizations reliant on sometimes unstable funding.
  3. That the federal government establish a commemoration fund in collaboration with national and regional Indigenous organizations (including Indigenous women’s organizations) and in partnership with family coalitions, Indigenous artists, and grassroots advocates who have spearheaded commemoration events and initiatives related to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S people.
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • This is one of the few recommendations that the Government of Canada responded to directly. The federal government, through Status of Women Canada, committed to a commemoration fund that would provide $10 million over two years “to honour the lives and legacies of Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S individuals.” The commemoration fund committed to supporting Indigenous communities in developing and implementing commemorative events. The National Inquiry is glad to see that the federal government recognizes the power of public commemoration to “honour truths, support healing, create awareness, and to advance reconciliation.” However, we have serious concerns with the way the federal government reinterpreted this recommendation. In particular, our recommendation specifically noted the importance of involving Indigenous women’s organizations, family coalitions, Indigenous artists, and grassroots advocates. However, the call for proposals for this commemoration fund applies only to legally constituted organizations, and it is not clear to what extent others will be able to access it. This excludes these very same family coalitions and grassroots organizations we wanted to include, who have been organizing around missing and murdered women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people for decades with very little support. It can be a long and onerous process to legally incorporate as an organization; coupled with the very short time frame organizations were given to apply, this almost certainly excludes the very groups we intended this recommendation to reach.
      • July 13, 2020 – Government has invested over $13 million in over 100 commemoration initiatives from coast to coast to coast to help honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, including LGTBQ and Two-Spirit people. The Government of Canada announced today that it is providing $100,000 in support of the Inuulitsivik Health Centre’s On the Land workshops-commemoration events in the communities of Puvirnituq and Inukjuak, Quebec, and for the commission of a commemoration sculpture. This project will help honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people, and increase awareness about this ongoing national tragedy.
  4. That the federal government immediately provide additional funding to Health Canada’s Resolution Health Support Program and expand its services to meet the increased needs flowing from the National Inquiry’s work, and at a minimum for the duration of the National Inquiry
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • In response, the Government of Canada committed to increase health support and victim services by providing $21.3 million over three years to complement the health supports provided by the inquiry, such as allowing the expansion of services to include all survivors, family members and those affected by the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, improving their access to health support services and extending the timeframe during which health support services will be available up to June 30, 2020.
      • They also committed to “providing an additional $5.42 million in 2019–2020 to extend the timeframe for the two Department of Justice Canada initiatives: Family Information Liaison Units and funding for community-based organizations to support families beyond the life of the National Inquiry.” The National Inquiry welcomed this announcement, and in particular the portion of the Resolution Health Support Program that was designated to support the health needs of those who participated in the National Inquiry. This did help family members and survivors.
      • However, the National Inquiry was only minimally consulted in how to allocate these funds. Because most of the funds were allocated through regional First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) offices, the support services available to family members and survivors did not include travel or cultural healing, wellness ceremonies, or transportation to meet with Elders or traditional medicine practitioners, instead covering only Western approaches to health and wellness – namely, counselling. While counselling is, in fact, an important part of many Indigenous Peoples’ healing journeys, cultural safety must be a key component in any Indigenous health and wellness service. However, the FNIHB did lift all eligibility criteria so that everyone could seek advice, including all those affected by the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, whether they be Status First Nations, non-Status First Nations, Inuit or Métis. In addition, distributing these funds through existing regional offices meant that families and survivors who already had trouble accessing health services due to living in rural and remote areas continued to have the same problems accessing these funds.
  5. That Health Canada’s Resolution Health Support Program provide funding to Indigenous organizations and other service providers (including provincial and territorial governments) through contribution agreements and transfer funds to provide the necessary health supports to families and survivors participating in the National Inquiry’s Truth-Gathering Process and engaging in its commemoration activities.
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • The goal of this recommendation was to ensure that families and survivors, and not only established organizations, had a voice in their healing and commemoration. The National Inquiry was ultimately successful in negotiating contribution agreements with individuals for their aftercare plans, which a Canadian government had never agreed to before. This gave families and survivors direct ownership over their own healing and wellness. We discuss this in more detail in Chapter 9.
  6. That the federal government undertake an engagement process with families, survivors, Indigenous organizations, and the National Inquiry to investigate the feasibility of restoring the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • To date, this important recommendation has not been implemented.
  7. That the federal government work collaboratively with provinces and territories to create a national police task force to which the National Inquiry could refer families and survivors to assess or reopen cases or review investigations.
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • The Government of Canada announced that they would provide $9.6 million over five years [which] will support the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)’s new National Investigative Standards and Practices Unit. Members of this unit will provide national oversight to major RCMP investigations. A significant proportion of this oversight will focus on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls investigations. However, this does not fulfill the National Inquiry’s recommendation. We maintain that Canada needs an independent national police task force specifically designed to meet the needs of family members and survivors of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, which would include non-police members and investigators, and other built-in, transparent oversight mechanisms.
      • Our most important objection to providing additional funding to the RCMP in this manner is that, once again, this involves police policing themselves. The RCMP have not proven to Canada that they are capable of holding themselves to account – and, in fact, many of the truths shared here speak to ongoing issues of systemic and individual racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination that prevent honest oversight from taking place. In addition, our recommendation was for a national police task force, whereas the government’s response includes only the RCMP, which does not cover other police service investigations or areas covered by a national task force.
      • The National Inquiry is also concerned about the non-specific language used, in that “a significant portion” will go toward investigations of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. In 2010, the federal government cut funding to the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s “Sisters in Spirit” research, education, and policy initiative to provide additional funding to other departments and to the RCMP, where enhancements made were general and not specific to Indigenous women and girls.64 These actions don’t inspire confidence for the future.
  8. Given the short timeframe of the National Inquiry and the urgency of establishing robust administrative structures and processes, that the federal government provide alternatives and options to its administrative rules to enable the National Inquiry to fulfill the terms of its mandate.
    • Federal Government Actions as per the MMIWG Final Report
      • Overall, the National Inquiry recognizes that many improvements were made to expedite some administrative services, particularly in the areas of staff hiring, security clearance, and procurement of goods and services. However, problem-solving administrative processes that were designed for indeterminate and well-established federal government organizations continued to cause significant delays and frustration. Such administrative processes do not lend themselves to inquiries with short timelines, let alone a National Inquiry with an Indigenous cultural mandate that stresses the need to accomplish the work in a trauma-informed and decolonizing way.
      • The area where this had the deepest effect on families and survivors was in aftercare, where the critical support the National Inquiry needed to provide to participants in order to avoid being retraumatized as a result of sharing their truths was placed on shaky ground. This came to a head in January 2018, when the federal government challenged the National Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and authority to provide health support to families and survivors in preparation for and during their appearance before the National Inquiry, and after sharing their truths. This effectively froze all movement on aftercare supports for three months, while families and survivors, including those in urgent crises, suffered. Even after coming to a funding resolution, there were many rules and regulations that continued to hamper aftercare services, causing more delays and valuable time lost. These required multiple paperwork amendments and new signatures, which generated stress for the families and survivors as well as delays in payments.
“Reclaiming Power and Place” The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Principles for Change
Our Calls for Justice are based on a solid foundation of evidence and law. Witnesses who shared their truths with us also explained that there are many important principles and ideas that must inform the implementation of any of the Calls for Justice in order for them to be effective and meaningful.

  • A Focus on Substantive Equality and Human and Indigenous Rights
  • A Decolonizing Approach
  • Inclusion of Families and Survivors
  • Self-Determined and Indigenous-Led Solutions and Services
  • Recognizing Distinctions i.e. Self-Identification, Residency, Geography
  • Cultural Safety.
  • Trauma-Informed Approach

Overarching Findings
The significant, persistent, and deliberate pattern of systemic racial and gendered human rights and Indigenous rights violations and abuses – perpetuated historically and maintained today by the Canadian state, designed to displace Indigenous Peoples from their land, social structures, and governance and to eradicate their existence as Nations, communities, families, and individuals – is the cause of the disappearances, murders, and violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and is genocide. This colonialism, discrimination, and genocide explains the high rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

An absolute paradigm shift is required to dismantle colonialism within Canadian society, and from all levels of government and public institutions. Ideologies and instruments of colonialism, racism, and misogyny, past and present, must be rejected.

Canada has signed and ratified many international declarations and treaties that affect Indigenous women’s, girls’, and 2SLGBTQQIA people’s rights, protection, security, and safety. Canada has failed to meaningfully implement the provisions of these legal instruments, including PPCG, ICESCR, ICCPR, UNCRC, CEDAW, and UNDRIP.

Further, the Canadian state has enacted domestic laws, including but not limited to section 35 of the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and human rights legislation, to ensure the legal protection of human rights and Indigenous rights. All governments, including Indigenous governments, have an obligation to uphold and protect the Indigenous and human rights of all Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people as outlined in these laws. Canada has failed to protect these rights and to acknowledge and remedy the human rights violations and abuses that have been consistently perpetrated against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

There is no accessible and reliable mechanism within the Canadian state for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to seek recourse and remedies for the violations of their domestic and international human rights and Indigenous rights. The Canadian legal system fails to hold the state and state actors accountable for their failure to meet domestic and international human rights and Indigenous rights obligations.

The Canadian state has displaced Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA people from their traditional roles in governance and leadership and continues to violate their political rights. This has been done through concerted efforts to destroy and replace Indigenous governance systems with colonial and patriarchal governance models, such as the Indian Act, and through the imposition of laws of general application throughout Canada. Indigenous governments or bands as established under the Indian Act or through local municipal governments do not have the full trust of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. Indigenous bands and councils and community leadership who have authority through colonial law are generally seen as not representing all of the interests of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

We recognize self-determination and self-governance as fundamental Indigenous and human rights and a best practice. Indigenous self-determination and self-governance in all areas of Indigenous society are required to properly serve and protect Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. This is particularly true in the delivery of services.

Efforts by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to be self-determining face significant barriers. Many Indigenous women’s advocacy organizations and grassroots organizations engaging in essential work to support survivors of violence and families of missing or lost loved ones, and working toward restoring safety, are underfunded and under supported by current funding formulas and systems.

Temporary and deficit-based approaches do not increase capacity for self-determination or self-governance, and fail to adequately provide protection and safety, as well as substantive equality. Short-term or project-based funding models in service areas are not sustainable, and represent a violation of inherent rights to self-governance and a failure to provide funding on a needs-based approach, equitably, substantively, and stably.

Government Responses to the MMIWG Inquiry

On December 8 2015, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of the Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, and the Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, announced the launch of a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The NI-MMIWG is unprecedented because it covers 14 jurisdictions and looks at the issue of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people in a manner that is culturally centered. The Truth Gathering Process has four fundamental components: Research, Community Hearings, Institutional Hearings, and Expert Hearings. The overall process strives to put families and survivors first while honouring those who have been taken.

Federal

Aug. 3, 2016 – $53.86M over two years to funding to establish an Inquiry which will make recommendations on concrete actions to address and prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls, including systemic and societal discrimination. An additional $16.7M over 3 years from the Department of Justice for the creation of Family Liaison Units in each province and territory to provide information to help families get information on lost members plus $4.5M for Victims Services funding to provide culturally-appropriate victims services for families

June 12, 2017 -Executive Director resignation is the fifth of such departures by staff since the National Inquiry’s launch on September 1st, 2016. Serious concerns around commissions stability and ability to meet its objectives within a rapidly shrinking timeline for the issuance of its final report

July 11, 2017 – Marilyn Poitras resigns as Commissioner saying she could not continue under the inquiry’s current structure.

Sept. 21, 2017 – First National Inquiry statement to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs on Inquiry progress acknowledges past and current issues and commits to four principles to guide their work:

  • We want to empower and support people, not re-victimize them.
  • We want to find solutions together and not impose them.
  • We want to include those who need to be heard.
  • We want to build on the good work already done and not re-invent the wheel.

Nov. 1, 2017 – Release of Interim Report “Our Women and Girls are Sacred” includes three immediate calls to action for the Government of Canada to:

  • Work collaboratively with provinces and territories to create a national police task force to which the National Inquiry could refer families and survivors to assess or reopen cases or review investigations.
  • Establish a commemoration fund in collaboration with families, survivors and national and regional Indigenous organizations.
  • Provide additional funding to Health Canada’s Resolution Health Support Program to expand its services to meet the increased needs flowing from the National Inquiries work, at a minimum, for the duration of the National Inquiry.

We have many more truths to hear through the Community Hearings model.

We need to re-explore the time we have to hear from the growing number of families and survivors registered to share their stories (905 to date) and properly look at all forms of violence, while building a foundation for community-based solutions. In practical terms, we believe this means extending the timeframe mandated to complete this inquiry.

We will establish the Institutional Hearings Process where we will question various jurisdictions and public institutions on the systemic forms of violence, racism and abuse that our women and girls have suffered at their hands

We will convene expert panels of Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants to examine overarching themes such as the human rights of Indigenous women and girls.

http://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/en/interim-report/

March 6, 2018: CISION – The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls today submitted a formal request to the federal government for a 24-month extension of its mandate through to December 31, 2020. The submission made to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs highlights work that the National Inquiry has done, and areas of investigation, research and commemoration that require more time to complete. They have also asked for an additional $50M in funding.

June 5, 2018: CISION – As a result of a thorough review of the request for an extension and based on what we heard from survivors, family members and Indigenous organizations, and discussions with provinces and territories, the Commission will be receiving more time to submit its final report. The Commission will have until April 30, 2019 from the initial date of November 1, 2018 to deliver the report. The extension to submit the report means the Commissioners can choose to extend the time, up to December 2018, to hear from additional families and survivors, further examine institutional practices and policies, and undertake the research necessary to inform their recommendations on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Following the receipt of the report, the Commission will have another two months, until June 30, 2019, to wind down its operations.

$21.3M to expand health support provided plus $5.42M in 2019-20 to extend Family Information Liaison units and Community-based organizations

June 5, 2018: Feathers of Hope – Native Womans Association of Canada has flagged the following concerns by not granting a full 2-year extension:

  • Appropriate long term after-care;
  • The option to reopen community hearing;
  • The necessity of engaging in one or two more expert and institutional hearings that may discuss extremely important topics such as criminal justice system and child welfare system;
  • The urgency to reopen the registration for families to give testimony and speak their truth;
  • A strong risk that the Inquiry will simply duplicate existing research and provide recommendations that lack “teeth”;
  • The necessity to operate at “high-speed”, risking burn-out of key staff who the Inquiry won’t have the time or money to replace;
  • Lack of time given to parties with standing for final written submissions, leaving this process rushed and limiting the detail and care parties with standing will be able to submit.

April 10,2019 – The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls today announced it will formally present its Final Report to the federal, provincial and territorial governments at a public closing ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec on June 3, 2019. The Final Report will comprise the sacred truths of 1484 family members and survivors of violence and 83 knowledge-keepers, experts and officials who provided testimony at 24 hearings and statement gathering events held from coast-to-coast-to-coast in 2017 and 2018, as well as 819 people who shared their truths through artistic expressions.

June 3, 2019 – MMIWG National Inquiry submitted their Final Report listing 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians. “Despite their different circumstances and backgrounds, all of the missing and murdered are connected by economic, social and political marginalization, racism, and misogyny woven into the fabric of Canadian society,” explained Chief Commissioner Marion Buller. “The hard truth is that we live in a country whose laws and institutions perpetuate violations of fundamental rights, amounting to a genocide against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.” A permanent commitment to ending the genocide requires addressing the four pathways explored within this report, namely:

  • historical, multigenerational, and intergenerational trauma;
  • social and economic marginalization;
  • maintaining the status quo and institutional lack of will; and
  • ignoring the agency and expertise of Indigenous women, girls,
  • and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

The National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice, presented as legal imperatives rather than optional recommendations, outline transformative actions in the areas of health, security, justice and culture including:

  • Establishing a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson and a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal
  • Developing and implementing a National Action Plan to ensure equitable access to employment, housing, education, safety, and health care
  • Providing long-term funding for education programs and awareness campaigns related to violence prevention and combatting lateral violence
  • Prohibiting the apprehension of children on the basis of poverty and cultural bias

June 24, 2019Important federal initiatives have been put in place to begin addressing issues identified in the Inquiry’s interim report and in the Calls for Justice. These initiatives include:

  • legislation respecting Indigenous languages;
  • legislation on supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families;
  • eliminating gender discrimination from the Indian Act
  • Family Information Liaison Units and community-based supports;
  • support for communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast with commemoration initiatives;
  • significant investments in distinctions based housing strategies for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
  • a series of independent research projects into promising police policies and practices have been completed to help foster more trusting relationships between police and the Indigenous people they serve; and
  • as part of our larger efforts to eradicate human trafficking, the government has funded 41 organizations that serve Indigenous communities.

We continue to engage on the co-development of the Plan through virtual discussions, sharing proven practices, identifying gaps and challenges, and learning from one another, while we forge partnerships to support the transformative change needed to end this national tragedy.

Dec. 15, 2020 – Announcement of funding for a broad-based Violence Prevention Strategy that includes

  • $35 million over six years, and $6 million ongoing for Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA organizations to continue to consult with their members and ensure the National Action Plan remains accountable and evergreen
  • $21.9 million in funding over three years, beginning in 2020-21, to continue to work with provincial and territorial governments and Indigenous community organizations to extend the operation and services of Family Information Liaison Units across Canada;
  • $6 million over three years in support of the Moose Hide Campaign Development Society;
  • $10 million in further funding (announced in April, 2020) for Indigenous Services Canada’s (ISC) Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP); and
  • $6.2 million in funding over five years, and $1.2 million ongoing to renew Public Safety Canada’s Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative (ACSPI)

June 3, 2021: CBC – Government releases National Action Plan. Our goal here is to end the genocide,” said Denise Pictou Maloney, co-chair of the National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC), one of the many groups, along with the federal and provincial governments, that have been co-developing the plan. The NFSC’s contribution to the plan, titled the Path Forward, Reclaiming Power and Place, identifies 30 actions that relate to many of the inquiry’s 231 recommendations, which it called “calls for justice.” They include prioritizing equitable funding, oversight for the implementation of the Calls for Justice, data collection, improving policing agencies and proper implementation and monitoring of Gladue reports. The federal 2020-21 budget has earmarked $2.2 billion for implementing the inquiry’s recommendations.

British Columbia

Aug, 3, 2016 – Confirm support for, and intention to participate fully in, the national inquiry

Nov. 5, 2016 – Issued an order-in-council giving commissioners the power to examine relevant matters within B.C. with two caveats: does not want Crown discretion to be examined at all. May not require the disclosure of information that is subject to a privilege, immunity or other legal restriction.”

Dec. 2018 – BCGEU (BC Government Employee Union) is the only union with legal standing at the MMIWG Inquiry. Release of “Naut’sa mawt sqwaluwun: Working together with one mind and one heart”: recommendations from the 77,000 members to the Commission in the following four areas:

  1. Systemic racism
  2. Unequal access to services and supports
  3. Injustice in the justice system
  4. Underfunding of public and community services

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/bcgeu/mailings/1895/attachments/original/layout-10.pdf?1544483087

Alberta

Aug. 3, 206 – Ensure provincial powers are available to the commission to support their critical work in Alberta.

Sept. 8, 2016 – The Government passed an Order in Council granting the same Commissioners with the authority to examine areas of provincial jurisdiction, such as child welfare, justice, and health. Alberta also established a Family Information Liaison Unit. The unit is intended to be a single point of contact where experienced front-line staff can provide families with information about the justice system and legal processes, as well as specific updates about criminal investigations, court proceedings or fatality inquiries involving their loved ones. The team can also link families with Elders, spiritual support and counselling.

Jan. 4, 2022: Alberta Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued their Final report to the Alberta Government. The Working Group was appointed to provide advice, direction and input into the Alberta government’s proposed action plan to address the calls for justice contained in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Indigenous women in Canada are three times more likely to be victims of violence than non-Indigenous women. In Alberta, 206 Indigenous women were murdered between 1980 and 2012 – accounting for 28% of all female homicide victims in that time period.

By addressing the calls for justice, we can build an Alberta where Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples are valued, respected, and are safe to lead lives filled with hope and promise. An update on next steps will be provided once a review of the final report is complete

Manitoba

July 21, 2015 – Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs releases “Families First: A Manitoba Indigenous Approach to Addressing the Issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls”. Many of the recommendations made by families of MMIWG, Elders, youth and the MMIWG Coalition are consistent with those made by many reports over many years. The recommendations include:

  1. Supports – More supports should be made available to the families of MMIWG that are culturally, spiritually and religiously diverse.
  2. Honouring Loved Ones – Measures should be taken to ensure the memory of loved ones are respected and honoured. This includes making funding available for gathering stories, annual feasts, walks, vigils and memorials.
  3. Cultural Reconnection – There should be more opportunities for Indigenous people to learn about their culture and healthy relationships for example through parenting and language programs.
  4. Interconnected Systems (Policing, Justice and CFS agencies) – The accountability and effectiveness of the child welfare system should be improved with direct involvement of Indigenous people.

Aug. 30, 2016 – Passed an order in council that provides the federally appointed commissioners the authority to examine the considerable work and analysis already completed in Manitoba and to examine matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the province

April 8, 2021 – Budget 2021 included $815,000 to help support victims of crime in Manitoba, by increasing supports for family violence and families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Oct.8, 2021 – The Manitoba government has introduced amendments to Bill 75, the Path to Reconciliation Amendment Act that would establish the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice as a key component of its approach to advancing truth and reconciliation in Manitoba. Under this legislation, Manitoba’s efforts are to be guided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the principles set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ontario

Aug. 3, 2016 – “Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women“. Main focus areas: Support for:

  • Children, youth and families: $80M over 3 years
  • Community safety and healing: 15.75M over 3 years
  • Policing and justice: $2.32M over 3 years
  • Prevention and awareness: $1.15M over 3 years
  • Leadership, Collaboration, Alignment and Accountability: $500K over 3 years
  • Improved Data and Research: $750K over 3 years

Québec

Aug. 17, 2016 – Ensure the inquiry focuses on the situation Indigenous communities encounter with Québec public services, particularly with police forces and health and social services as well as educational institutions.

Indigenous organizations also demand a provincial inquiry into police abuse given the alleged sexual assaults against indigenous women at Val-d’Or.

Dec, 21, 2016 – Quebec government established the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec: listening, reconciliation and progress in order to investigate, consider the facts and recommend concrete and effective corrective measures to be implemented by the Government of Québec and Indigenous officials.

https://www.cerp.gouv.qc.ca/index.php?id=3&L=1

March 22, 2018 – AFNQL intends to demonstrate that the treatment of First Nation public safety, which among others results in the underfunding of police forces, confirms that security in our communities does not get the same consideration as that of non-native citizens. First Nation Policing is still recognized as a program, not an essential service as they claim. The funding of police services and the working and operating conditions of First Nation police forces are considerably inferior than those of other police forces in Quebec, including the Sûreté du Québec.

Oct. 17, 2019 – The Gouvernement du Québec is strengthening its collaboration with First Nations and Inuit by making a commitment to work together to implement the recommendations from the Viens Commission and the National Inquiry into MMIWG.

Dec. 8, 2020 – Québec government directly responds to Calls to Justice 20 and 21 from the MMIWG Supplementary Report on Québec by tabling a draft Act to authorize the communication of personal information to the families of Indigenous children who went missing or died after being admitted to an institution.

 20. WE CALL UPON the Quebec government to provide Indigenous families with all the information it has about children who have been apprehended following admission to a hospital or any other health center in Quebec;

The Bill is designed to provide a practical way for Indigenous families to obtain information from a health and social services institution, an organization or a religious congregation about the circumstances in which a child disappeared or died after being admitted to a health and social services establishment up to 1989. Once passed the Act, will, under certain conditions, make it possible to disclose information to these Indigenous families. Specifically, the Act introduces exemptions from the current rules on access that prevent the release of information to families.

21. WE CALL UPON the Government of Quebec to establish a commission of inquiry on the children taken from Indigenous families in Quebec

It also gives the Minister a power of inquiry when elements shedding light on the circumstances of a child’s disappearance or death exist, but cannot be disclosed under current rules.

Nova Scotia

In partnership with the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association and the federal government, three community outreach specialists who have experience in dealing with trauma have been hired to provide cultural support to families and community members until March 31, 2019.

$790K from Fed. Govt. until March 31, 2019 + $458K from NS

Prince Edward Island

Aug, 4, 2016 – Seeking an Order-in-Council to support the inquiry’s work on Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador

Dec. 1, 2016 – The Order in Council affirms the Provincial Government’s commitment to enable the Commission of Inquiry, jointly with the Government of Canada and the governments of other provinces and territories, to inquire into and report on, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Yukon

Sept. 18, 2018: Indigenous Lands&Resources Today – Spoke to Yukon’s experience with the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee encouraged her counterparts to support the Inquiry and keep the Commission’s mandate to examine the systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls in mind. Minister McPhee also highlighted the need to take immediate action to address the high rates of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls and not wait for the report of the Commission.

Dec. 12, 2020 – “Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice: Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy”, signing ceremony with participants from all 14 Yukon First Nations as well as municipal, territorial and federal governments to confirm their commitment to ending violence and changing the story for Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirit+ people in Yukon. The Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy groups 31 priority actions under four paths:

grouped under four paths:

  1. Strengthening Connections and Supports (8 Priority Actions)
  2. Community Safety and Justice (9 Priority Actions)
  3. Economic Independence and Education (6 Priority Actions)
  4. Community Action and Accountability (8 Priority Actions)

This Strategy will guide the development of an implementation plan outlining detailed action required, including who will lead and contribute to each action item, over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond.

Nunavut

Oct. 7, 2016 – Nunavut order will give the federally-appointed MMIW commission the authority to hold the inquiry in Nunavut and use both federal and territorial powers

Northwest Territories

Dec. 8, 2021: The territory’s 150-page plan, titled Changing the Relationship, details 93 actions the territorial government plans to take to address colonialism and racial and gendered discrimination in its departments, agencies, and policies. Outcomes listed in the plan include improving the territory’s relationship with Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people by establishing trust and accountability and focusing on person-centred services. 

Actions in the plan address calls for justice focused on culture and language, health and wellness, human security, and the justice system. Some of the work is already under way, like:

The Path Forward: Reclaiming Power and Place – Federal Government’s National Action Plan

Message from the National Family and Survivors Circle’s

“The Path Forward – Reclaiming Power and Place” is the National Family and Survivors Circle’s contribution to the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People. A summary of key components is provided in this National Action Plan document. It is available in full at our website at https://familysurvivorscircle.ca. “The Path Forward
– Reclaiming Power and Place” highlights our advocacy and guidance to the National Action Plan development partners.

Message from the Core Working Group

The Core Working Group is collaborating with the National Family and Survivors Circle and Contributing Partners to co-develop a National Action Plan that will drive transformative change to end systemic racism and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Survivors and family members are central in the development and implementation of the Plan.

The National Action Plan is meant to be an overarching framework which connects the work of the National Family and Survivors Circle and the Contributing Partners but recognizes each of their different paths and priorities. Therefore, the National Family and Survivors Circle, Contributing Partners, and provinces and territories are developing their own strategies or action plans.

Our work is not done – the 2021 National Action Plan is a first step towards ending all forms of gender- and race-based violence. It is a living and evergreen document which lays the way forward and is adaptable so that changing needs can be incorporated. The next step involves preparation of an implementation plan with in-depth descriptions of short-, medium- and long-term priorities, and the identification of those responsible for implementation of each action, as well as milestones and required resources.

The National Action Plan also responds to the report entitled “Métis Perspectives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ2S+ People”, released on June 30, 2019, by Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO).

Short-Term Goals Priorities

The National Action Plan identifies 23 short-term priorities under the following 7 goals, identifying the Themes and alignment with specific Calls to Justice:

  1. Achieve transformative changes in attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge within the broader society to prevent and end the root causes of systemic racism, inequality, injustice, and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Canada
  2. Keep families and survivors at the centre of the process and provide concrete support to survivors and families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people
  3. Support the delivery of programs and services by Indigenous organizations, including at the grassroots level, to address all forms of gender- and race- based violence
  4. Address the broader root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people
  5. Develop a national Indigenous human rights accountability mechanism focused on Indigenous human rights that include inherent, Treaty, and Constitutional rights. This mechanism will create shared accountability for upholding the human rights of Indigenous Peoples regarding gender-based violence
  6. Support a paradigm shift in policies and systems across Canada which defines transformative change in justice, health and wellness, human security, culture, and Indigenous human rights that include inherent, Treaty, and Constitutional rights
  7. Establish a culturally appropriate Indigenous data infrastructure reflective of Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, based on Indigenous data sovereignty and culturally rooted and distinctions-based indicators

Immediate Next Steps

The National Inquiry’s Call for Justice 1.1(i) called for development and implementation of a flexible and distinctions-based National Action Plan, including regionally-specific plans with devoted funding and timelines for implementation, rooted in local cultures and communities of diverse Indigenous identities, with measurable goals and necessary resources dedicated to capacity building, sustainability, and long-term solutions. This 2021 National Action Plan lays out guiding principles, goals, short- term priorities, immediate next steps, and a strategy/action plan from the National Family and Survivors Circle, Contributing Partners, and provinces/territories. As discussed below, an in-depth implementation plan for the National Action Plan will be developed with more specific information on the short-term priorities, as well as the identification of medium- and long-term priorities. In addition, it will include funding, timelines and who is responsible for implementation.

The National Action Plan is not intended to be a final plan but one that is evergreen and requires monitoring and reporting on progress, as well as further co-development and course correction as required. It also needs to be flexible to address the needs of remote, rural, and urban communities. On the path to ending violence, reclaiming power and place, and restoring the roles and responsibilities of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, some of the 231 Calls for Justice and 62 Calls for Miskotahâ can be implemented fairly quickly. However, others will require careful planning to achieve the desired results.

The National Inquiry’s Call for Justice 1.1 calls upon federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous governments, in partnership with Indigenous people, to develop and implement a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The following are immediate next steps that governments and representative Indigenous organizations will focus on over the next 12 months to implement the National Action Plan.

  1. Immediate Support Services for Survivors and Family Members
    • Provide funding to establish accessible healing and support services for survivors and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people wherever they are.
    • Develop a comprehensive approach for providing support to Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA+ victims and families/ friends of Indigenous missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
  2. Continued Involvement of Survivors and Family Members in the Implementation of the National Action Plan
    • With adequate funding, the National Family and Survivors Circle will develop and implement an engagement strategy that provides further opportunity for family and survivors to provide insight and input into the National Action Plan’s next steps.
    • The Contributing Partners will continue to complete their Action and Implementation Plans built upon their engagement with survivors and family members.
  3. Create an Oversight Body
    • Creation of an oversight body which represents the interests of families, survivors, and Indigenous communities by investigating and addressing complaints of mal-administration or a violation of right.
  4. Public Awareness and Training
    • Begin immediate work on the development of a public education/ awareness campaign on the issues Indigenous people experience and to challenge the acceptance and normalization of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
    • Implement trauma-informed training for those who work with Indigenous people, on topics such as history, culture, issues, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, transphobia, etc.
  5. Immediate Development of an Implementation Plan
    • Develop an Implementation Plan for the National Action Plan that includes the short-term priorities identified in the National Action Plan, as well as medium- and long-term priorities that will lead to real systemic change.
    • Each priority will include specific actions, expected outcomes, timelines, and resources.
    • Determine mechanisms and processes for national independent oversight and coordination of the National Action Plan, that includes Contributing Partners and governments with financial support.
    • Continuance of Contributing Partners to continue to develop their implementation plans.
    • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of all governments (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, Indigenous) and Indigenous organizations to implement the 231 Calls for Justice and 62 Calls for Miskotahâ.
    • Develop an accountability/results structure for the National Action Plan.
    • An Indigenous and gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) lens will be applied to the implementation plan.
  6. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Federal-Provincial/ Territorial Table
    • Create a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Federal- Provincial/Territorial Table to provide a specific forum to consider and coordinate intergovernmental collaboration and discussion on various areas such as administrative issues, policy, resourcing, resolution of interjurisdictional responsibilities, and processes that emerge from the implementation of the National Action Plan.
  7. Create Accountability Mechanisms for the Reporting on the 231 Calls for Justice and the 62 Calls for Miskotahâ
    • Create broad accountability mechanisms rooted in Indigenous data sovereignty focused on truth-telling to ensure the National Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice and LFMO’s 62 Calls for Miskotahâ are implemented by all governments (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, Indigenous) and organizations, and their outcomes are measured for effectiveness in creating transformative change and achieving decolonization. This could be part of the responsibilities of the independent committee or working group.
    • Create data accountability mechanisms rooted in Indigenous Data Sovereignty.
    • Create an independent web portal to post annual reports which track the progress on responding to the Calls for Justice and Calls for Miskotahâ.
    • By June 2022, publish the first annual report on progress in responding to the Calls for Justice and the Calls for Miskotaha
Assembly of First Nations: Breathing Life into the Calls for Justice: An Action Plan to End Violence Against First Nations Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People

June 3, 2021 – “Breathing Life” makes recommendations for coordinated action in four priority areas:

  • Justice: address barriers and inequalities in Canada’s justice system
  • Human security: ensure equitable access to basic needs, including shelter, food, and education
  • Health and wellness: provide services and programs that are culturally appropriate and trauma informed
  • Culture as safety: make cultural identity a priority in all preventative, supportive, and healing activities

National Priority Action Items:

Families and Survivors “Wrap-Around Services”

The following are action items targeted to help families and survivors navigate the legal system and support their healing and well-being throughout the process of seeking justice.

ActionCalls for Justice
Create toolkits or information kits for survivors and families, with emphasis on what supports and services are available for families in crisis and what to do within the first 72 hours of an incident occurring or a family member going missing.5.11, 5.13
Increase access to First Nations legal advocates, to help orient survivors and families withing the legal system and to accompany survivors with providing evidence and giving statements.5.11, 5.13
Financial support for Elders or family members to accompany survivors when providing evidence or giving statements and to families who are searching for a family member who is missing.5.6, 5.11
Creation of community-based spaces to increase access to justice.5.6, 5.11
Increased victim support services in remote communities.5.5, 5.6, 5.11
Increased support services, especially for survivors of family violence, including safe houses, financial aid, transportation, and legal advice.5.6, 5.11, 5.13
Support for families when dealing with the media and advocacy for trauma informed media practices.1.9, 6.1
  1. JUSTICE

The following are actions targeted to federal, provincial, and territorial governments to address the barriers and inequalities experienced by First Nations citizens in the justice system:

 ActionCalls for Justice
Establish a national investigative taskforce to review or reopen cold case investigations involving First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.5.6, 5.8, 9.5, 9.6
Establish a National Indigenous Human Rights Ombudsperson and National Indigenous Human Rights Tribunal, in partnership with the federal government, provincial and territorial governments, and First Nations.1.7, 5.1, 5.12, 9.5
Ensure appropriate funding of Gladue reporting to ensure that First Nations access to report writers and Gladue reporting.5.13, 5.15, 5.16, 5.17
Support to revitalize traditional and customary laws within First Nations jurisdictions.5.11, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5
Enhancing and respecting self-governance models within First Nations to provide support for families and survivors.5.11
Amend the Criminal Code of Canada to make “Indigenous identity” an aggravating factor when charging or sentencing accused.5.14, 5.15, 5.16, 5.18
Increase funding for First Nations justice initiatives and restorative justice and culturally appropriate victim offender treatment program.5.16, 5.21

POLICING

The following are actions to address the barriers and inequalities experienced by First Nations citizens when dealing with the police:

ActionCalls for Justice
Create independent, third-party oversight bodies for all police forces across the country, which are accountable to the First Nations and First Nations citizens they serve.5.7, 9.6, 9.8, 9.9
Federal government to review and strengthen its human trafficking law and support law enforcement in counteracting the rise in international human trafficking rings.8.1
Ensure that police respond to calls involving a First Nations person going missing or being murdered in a culturally sensitive manner and understanding the contributing factors that cause missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.5.5, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.5
Police forces across the country be required to stop using “mug shots” of Indigenous women on missing posters.15.6
Support crime prevention which addresses risks and protective measures.9.7
Police Forces in Canada to acknowledge the colonial violence they have inflicted against First Nations and commit to accountability measures.9.1, 9.5, 9.7
Police Forces in Canada develop with First Nations and implement programs which will promote positive working relationships and trust with First Nations and First Nations citizens.9.2, 9.7

HUMAN SECURITY

ActionCalls for Justice
Reducing the marginalization of Indigenous women and girls by improving socio- economic development and outcomes.1.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 8.1
Implement a national campaign targeted to industry and resource extraction companies to ensure safety and respect of First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people on the job site.13.1, 13.3, 13.4, 15.6
Support the increase in capacity of First Nations to produce their own food and provide for basic needs to promote social security, especially for northern and remote First Nations.4.1, 4.2
Increased access to transportation, emergency services, and improved infrastructure so emergency calls from northern and remote First Nations are responded to.4.8
Utilize technology to better track movements or track location of First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+, in accordance with privacy laws and regulations.1

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

The following includes actions meant to help improve health services and delivery mechanisms in concrete ways to promote community and individual health, safety, and healing:

ActionCalls for Justice
Services and programs serving First Nations must be culturally appropriate, trauma informed, understand addictions, and employ harm reduction strategies, and must be designed from the First Nations perspectives that are being served.3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
Design and implement a First Nations Health and Wellness Strategy for children of MMIWG2S+ to ensure they have culturally appropriate wellness support and healing practices.3.7
Increase access to aftercare services, which includes culturally appropriate healing practices and grief counselling.3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 7.2
Improve prevention programming and responses to violence within intimate relationships and families.3.3, 3.4, 5.3, 7.2
Funding for First Nations women’s centres, shelters, treatment facilities, and other safe spaces for First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.7.2, 7.4
Increased access to culturally appropriate mental and emotional health support for First Nations men and boys.7.2, 7.3
Increase the number of First Nations social workers available in hospitals to help navigate the health care system and advocate for First Nations patients.3.1
Services and programs serving First Nations must be culturally appropriate, trauma informed, understand addictions, and employ harm reduction strategies, and must be designed from the First Nations perspectives that are being served.3.6

CULTURAL AS PREVENTION

The following includes actions that will assist in promoting culturally based prevention activities for First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people:

ActionCalls for Justice
Provide dedicated funding for First Nations schools and programming to support learning First Nations cultures and First Nations languages so children have opportunity to build strong cultural identities.2.2, 2.3
Provide dedicated funding for no-barrier programming supporting access to First Nations culture and First Nations language for adults, both on-reserve and living in urban centres.2.2, 2.3, 3.4
Provide dedicated funding to support preservation of cultural knowledge including First Nations customs, traditional knowledge, societal roles, and languages.2.2, 2.4, 2.5
Support mainstream public education reform to provide a better understanding of First Nations culture and the contributing factors that cause MMIWG2S+.1.9, 2.6, 6.1, 11.1. 11.2, 15.1, 15.2, 15.5, 15.6, 15.7
Design and implement a campaign raising public awareness aimed at changing attitudes that devalue Indigenous women and girls and the contributions of First Nations as an educational tool for violence prevention.1.9, 2.6, 6.1. 11.1, 11.2, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 15.6

HEALING WITH CULTURE

The following includes actions that will assist in promoting culturally appropriate healing activities for First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people:

ActionCalls for Justice
Provide adequate funding to First Nations to develop their own culturally appropriate and land-based healing programs for the benefit of survivors and family MMIWG2S+, as well as all First Nations citizens affected by trauma.7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4
Increase access to culturally appropriate healing services and activities in urban centres.2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6
Evaluate questions being asked to First Nations people when accessing programs and services for cultural sensitivity and understanding the contributing factors that cause MMIWG2S+.2.6
Design and implement ongoing training for all government employees to understand the contributing factors that cause MMIWG2S+ and cultural sensitivity to better respond to the needs of First Nations.2.6

CULTURAL AS SAFETY

The following includes actions that will utilize First Nations culture as a safety support when individuals or families are experiencing trauma:

ActionCalls for Justice
Provide adequate funding for independent and culturally appropriate First Nations victim services.9.8
Provide adequate funding for cultural and spiritual supports to ensure that Knowledge Keepers providing these services are also properly supported.2.3, 7.1, 7.2
Increased access to First Nations interpreters and translation services to improve access to health and wellness, and justice, and when dealing with police during investigations.2.2, 7.5
Ensure First Nations experiencing traumatic events have access to and ongoing support from a crisis response team in a culturally appropriate way.3.5
Provide targeted funding for culturally appropriate prevention and healing programs for survivors of human trafficking.8.1

MMIWG 231 Calls for Justice
For all levels of Government = 58 Calls to Justice
The National Inquiry heard many truths connected with the deliberate actions and inactions of all levels of government. In addition, the evidence makes clear that changing the structures and the systems that sustain violence in daily encounters is not only necessary to combat violence, but is an essential legal obligation of all governments in Canada. We target many of our Calls for Justice at governments for this reason, and identify how governments can work to honour Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and to protect their human and Indigenous rights, in the thematic areas examined within this report.

Human and Indigenous Rights and Governmental Obligations 11
Culture  7
Health and Wellness        7
Human Security  8
Justice   25
Industries, Institutions, Services, and Partnerships = 58 Calls to Justice
As this report has demonstrated, so much of the violence shared in the truths of those who testified began with an encounter between a person and an institution or a service that could have ultimately contributed to wellness, if it had occurred differently. In this section of our Calls for Justice, we identify important industries, institutions and services that are featured in testimony throughout this report. We include the idea of partnership, because so many of these services and institutions operated in partnership with governments at all levels; these Calls, therefore, while aimed at service providers, must be interpreted with an insistence on proper resourcing and interjurisdictional cooperation, in order to ensure safety for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

Media and Social Influencers         1
            Health and Wellness Service Providers        9
            Transportation Service Providers and the Hospitality Industry  1
            Police Services   11
            Attorneys and Law Societies          1
            Educators           2
            Social Workers and Those Implicated in Child Welfare          15
            Extractive and Development Industries        5
            Correctional Service Canada          13
For All Canadians = 8 recommendations
As this report has shown, and within every encounter, each person has a role to play in order to combat violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. Beyond those Calls aimed at governments or at specific industries or service providers, we encourage every Canadian to consider how they can give life to these Calls for Justice.
Calls for Justice for Inuit = 46 recommendations
Testimony shared by Inuit witnesses, experts, and Elders, and submissions by Inuit representative organizations, along with existing reports and research, demonstrated that Inuit have unique and distinct experiences of colonial oppression and violence. Further, witnesses emphasized distinct areas of concern and priority areas for Inuit women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people that require distinct recommendations.
Métis-Specific Calls for Justice = 29 recommendations
The Calls for Justice in this report must be interpreted and implemented in a distinctions-based manner, taking into account the unique history, culture and reality of Métis communities and people. This includes the way that Métis people and their issues have been ignored by levels of government, which has resulted in barriers to safety for Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The diversity of the experiences of Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, both among themselves, and as between other Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, must be fully recognized and understood.
All actions taken to ensure the safety and well-being of Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people must include their participation, including those with lived experience. In addition, the recognition and protection of, and compliance with, the human rights and Indigenous rights of Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people on a substantively equal basis is a legal imperative.
Métis witnesses who testified at the National Inquiry, and Parties with Standing’s closing submissions, emphasized the need for greater awareness of Métis issues and distinctive realities, and practical supports for Métis families. They also focused on guiding principles such as: Métis self-determination, and the need for culturally-specific solutions; respect for human rights; prevention in relation to violence and child welfare, and substantively equal governmental support for Métis children and families; and, inclusion of all Métis perspectives in decision making, including 2SLGBTQQIA people and youth.
2SLGBTQQIA-Specific Calls for Justice = 32
Witnesses who testified at the National Inquiry emphasized the need for greater awareness of 2SLGBTQQIA issues, including the important history and contemporary place of 2SLGBTQQIA people within communities and ceremony, and practical supports and safe places for 2SLGBTQQIA people. Several priority areas were identified, including policing, education, justice, socio-economic priorities, health and healing, and child welfare. Witnesses also focused on guiding principles such as self-determined and culturally-specific solutions for 2SLGBTQQIA people, respect for human rights, prevention in relation to violence and child welfare, and inclusion of all perspectives in decision making, including youth. Submissions made to the National Inquiry, specific to 2SLGBTQQIA peoples, reflected the need for a distinctions-based approach that takes into account the unique challenges to safety for 2SLGBTQQIA individuals and groups, including youth.

https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Executive_Summary.pdf

https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Final_Report_Vol_1a-1.pdf

https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Final_Report_Vol_1b.pdf

https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Final_Report_Vol_2_Quebec_Report-1.pdf

https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Supplementary-Report_Genocide.pdf

Federal Government’s MMIWG National Action Plan

Message from the National Family and Survivors Circle’s

“The Path Forward – Reclaiming Power and Place” is the National Family and Survivors Circle’s contribution to the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People. A summary of key components is provided in this National Action Plan document. It is available in full at our website at https://familysurvivorscircle.ca. “The Path Forward
– Reclaiming Power and Place” highlights our advocacy and guidance to the National Action Plan development partners.

Message from the Core Working Group

The Core Working Group is collaborating with the National Family and Survivors Circle and Contributing Partners to co-develop a National Action Plan that will drive transformative change to end systemic racism and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Survivors and family members are central in the development and implementation of the Plan.

The National Action Plan is meant to be an overarching framework which connects the work of the National Family and Survivors Circle and the Contributing Partners but recognizes each of their different paths and priorities. Therefore, the National Family and Survivors Circle, Contributing Partners, and provinces and territories are developing their own strategies or action plans.

Our work is not done – the 2021 National Action Plan is a first step towards ending all forms of gender- and race-based violence. It is a living and evergreen document which lays the way forward and is adaptable so that changing needs can be incorporated. The next step involves preparation of an implementation plan with in-depth descriptions of short-, medium- and long-term priorities, and the identification of those responsible for implementation of each action, as well as milestones and required resources.

The National Action Plan also responds to the report entitled “Métis Perspectives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ2S+ People”, released on June 30, 2019, by Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO).

Short-Term Goals Priorities

The National Action Plan identifies 23 short-term priorities under the following 7 goals, identifying the Themes and alignment with specific Calls to Justice:

  1. Achieve transformative changes in attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge within the broader society to prevent and end the root causes of systemic racism, inequality, injustice, and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Canada
  2. Keep families and survivors at the centre of the process and provide concrete support to survivors and families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people
  3. Support the delivery of programs and services by Indigenous organizations, including at the grassroots level, to address all forms of gender- and race- based violence
  4. Address the broader root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people
  5. Develop a national Indigenous human rights accountability mechanism focused on Indigenous human rights that include inherent, Treaty, and Constitutional rights. This mechanism will create shared accountability for upholding the human rights of Indigenous Peoples regarding gender-based violence
  6. Support a paradigm shift in policies and systems across Canada which defines transformative change in justice, health and wellness, human security, culture, and Indigenous human rights that include inherent, Treaty, and Constitutional rights
  7. Establish a culturally appropriate Indigenous data infrastructure reflective of Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, based on Indigenous data sovereignty and culturally rooted and distinctions-based indicators

Immediate Next Steps

The National Inquiry’s Call for Justice 1.1(i) called for development and implementation of a flexible and distinctions-based National Action Plan, including regionally-specific plans with devoted funding and timelines for implementation, rooted in local cultures and communities of diverse Indigenous identities, with measurable goals and necessary resources dedicated to capacity building, sustainability, and long-term solutions. This 2021 National Action Plan lays out guiding principles, goals, short- term priorities, immediate next steps, and a strategy/action plan from the National Family and Survivors Circle, Contributing Partners, and provinces/territories. As discussed below, an in-depth implementation plan for the National Action Plan will be developed with more specific information on the short-term priorities, as well as the identification of medium- and long-term priorities. In addition, it will include funding, timelines and who is responsible for implementation.

The National Action Plan is not intended to be a final plan but one that is evergreen and requires monitoring and reporting on progress, as well as further co-development and course correction as required. It also needs to be flexible to address the needs of remote, rural, and urban communities. On the path to ending violence, reclaiming power and place, and restoring the roles and responsibilities of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, some of the 231 Calls for Justice and 62 Calls for Miskotahâ can be implemented fairly quickly. However, others will require careful planning to achieve the desired results.

The National Inquiry’s Call for Justice 1.1 calls upon federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous governments, in partnership with Indigenous people, to develop and implement a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The following are immediate next steps that governments and representative Indigenous organizations will focus on over the next 12 months to implement the National Action Plan.

  1. Immediate Support Services for Survivors and Family Members
  • Provide funding to establish accessible healing and support services for survivors and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people wherever they are.
  • Develop a comprehensive approach for providing support to Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA+ victims and families/ friends of Indigenous missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

2. Continued Involvement of Survivors and Family Members in the Implementation of the National Action Plan

  • With adequate funding, the National Family and Survivors Circle will develop and implement an engagement strategy that provides further opportunity for family and survivors to provide insight and input into the National Action Plan’s next steps.
  • The Contributing Partners will continue to complete their Action and Implementation Plans built upon their engagement with survivors and family members.

3. Create an Oversight Body

  • Creation of an oversight body which represents the interests of families, survivors, and Indigenous communities by investigating and addressing complaints of mal-administration or a violation of right.

4. Public Awareness and Training

  • Begin immediate work on the development of a public education/ awareness campaign on the issues Indigenous people experience and to challenge the acceptance and normalization of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
  • Implement trauma-informed training for those who work with Indigenous people, on topics such as history, culture, issues, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, transphobia, etc.

5. Immediate Development of an Implementation Plan

  • Develop an Implementation Plan for the National Action Plan that includes the short-term priorities identified in the National Action Plan, as well as medium- and long-term priorities that will lead to real systemic change.
  • Each priority will include specific actions, expected outcomes, timelines, and resources.
  • Determine mechanisms and processes for national independent oversight and coordination of the National Action Plan, that includes Contributing Partners and governments with financial support.
  • Continuance of Contributing Partners to continue to develop their implementation plans.
  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of all governments (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, Indigenous) and Indigenous organizations to implement the 231 Calls for Justice and 62 Calls for Miskotahâ.
  • Develop an accountability/results structure for the National Action Plan.
  • An Indigenous and gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) lens will be applied to the implementation plan

6. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Federal-Provincial/ Territorial Table

  • Create a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Federal- Provincial/Territorial Table to provide a specific forum to consider and coordinate intergovernmental collaboration and discussion on various areas such as administrative issues, policy, resourcing, resolution of interjurisdictional responsibilities, and processes that emerge from the implementation of the National Action Plan.

7. Create Accountability Mechanisms for the Reporting on the 231 Calls for Justice and the 62 Calls for Miskotahâ

  • Create broad accountability mechanisms rooted in Indigenous data sovereignty focused on truth-telling to ensure the National Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice and LFMO’s 62 Calls for Miskotahâ are implemented by all governments (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, Indigenous) and organizations, and their outcomes are measured for effectiveness in creating transformative change and achieving decolonization. This could be part of the responsibilities of the independent committee or working group.
  • Create data accountability mechanisms rooted in Indigenous Data Sovereignty.
  • Create an independent web portal to post annual reports which track the progress on responding to the Calls for Justice and Calls for Miskotahâ.
  • By June 2022, publish the first annual report on progress in responding to the Calls for Justice and the Calls for Miskotaha

https://mmiwg2splus-nationalactionplan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NAP_Report_EN.pdf

Federal, Provincial, Territory Government Commitments to Reduce Violence Against Indigenous Women

Federal Government

Matrimonial Real Property Implementation Support Program

Annual since 2013, $ 3M per year. Renewed 2018-20

Created to protect Indigenous women living on reserves in cases where a relationship ended and property division was required. This investment will allow for continued initiatives for safer environments and opportunities for Indigenous women.

It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, Ministry of the Status of Women

Mar. 5, 2018 – Invests in cultural competency training for federal law enforcement officers, and provides important program funding for at-risk populations, including Indigenous women and girls.

Status of Woman Canada and Indigenous Womans Circle

May 24, 2018 – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, met with the newly created Indigenous Women’s Circle today to discuss ways of addressing systemic inequalities that disproportionately impact Indigenous women and girls. The Circle will have an advisory role for a two-year term and provide an opportunity for Status of Women Canada to consult with leaders in Indigenous communities on the challenges they face and their priorities for the Government of Canada related to advancing gender equality.

Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women

July 30, 2018 – $4.3M: $350K Regional; $500K National

Proposed projects will engage women and a range of community partners in working together to create lasting change to improve economic conditions for Indigenous women. Projects will:

  • Identify issues, strengths and opportunities affecting Indigenous women’s economic security and prosperity;
  • Expand community understanding of these issues, strengths and opportunities; 
  • Take action, together with partners, to identify effective, community-specific mechanisms and solutions; and
  • Implement these solutions

National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking

July 29, 2020 – Funds are to support victims and survivors of human trafficking. $14 million will be distributed by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) and $5 million through Public Safety Canada.  WAGE’s call for proposals will support organizations that work to prevent and address human trafficking to develop and implement promising practices to enhance empowerment supports for at-risk populations and survivors of human trafficking. The call will remain open until September 4, 2020.

The funding available through Public Safety Canada will support two initiatives. The first is for projects that seek to empower victims and survivors of human trafficking through the provision of supports and services that are trauma-informed and culturally relevant. The second is for pilot projects to establish and test best practices to raise awareness of human trafficking among at-risk youth. The call will remain open until September 4, 2020.

Oct. 2, 2020 – Federal Government announced $50M in COVID-19 related funding including for up to $10 million to support organizations providing services related to gender-based violence to Indigenous people off-reserve

Jan. 26, 2021 – Indigenous Services Canada commits to fund the construction and operations of shelters for Inuit women and children across Inuit Nunangat as well as in urban centres

British Columbia

Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women’s (MACIW Giving Voice Program

May 29, 2019 – $689K over 2 yrs. Grants from $2.5K-$16K

The Province is supporting Indigenous communities and organizations to end gender-based violence through 48 unique community-driven projects that support, teach and celebrate Indigenous women throughout B.C. This year’s projects include traditional activities like knowledge workshops and healing circles. It also includes more community-focused projects, such as monthly dinners, guided community dialogues, cultural retreats and workshops on healthy masculinity.

Alberta

Affordable Housing Agreement

Mar. 26, 2018 – $6.15M

Support the construction and renovation of off-reserve shelters and transitional housing for families fleeing family violence. Includes $1.9M for Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter to increase capacity

Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The Alberta government has appointed three Indigenous community members and three members of the legislative assembly to inform a government action plan that responds to the calls for justice of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The joint working group will support the government’s actions by:

  • Advising on options to address issues of violence and the calls for justice.
  • Making recommendations on how to work with Indigenous communities, other governments and the private sector to leverage actions to combat violence against Indigenous women and girls.

Providing input and making recommendations on the government’s action plan.

Saskatchewan

Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan

July 30, 2018 – $304,950

Develop an Indigenous Women’s Economic Framework with local business and economic partners.

Prince Albert Métis Womans Association

July 30, 2018 – $255,844

Identify and respond to barriers affecting the economic security of vulnerable women in Central and Northern Saskatchewan using research, best practices and capacity building.

Manitoba

The Clean Environment Commission Report

Aug. 24, 2018 – Included cases of sexual abuse, physical abuse and the RCMPs failure to take the complaints of Indigenous women seriously. These allegations highlight the past and present connections between the energy industry, policing, and the ongoing epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in Canada. This is especially evident in resource heavy regions like Manitoba. NWAC calls on Manitoba Hydro and the RCMP to take responsibility for their neglect and active participation in the exploitation and abuse of Indigenous women involved in these cases. Additionally, to ensure accountability, Manitoba Hydro and the RCMP must submit to a collaborative review of their current process. This is to prevent the continuation of violence, to recognize their failures and to acknowledge how these failures continue to impact Indigenous women today.

Re-organization of MMIWG Investigations

Mar. 6, 2020 – The Winnipeg Police Service will be consolidating its approach to MMIWG. The new model will see a coordination of resources from the Homicide Unit, the Counter Exploitation Unit, the Missing Persons Unit, and the Internet Child Exploitation Unit.

These Units form part of the Investigations Branch of the WPS under the direction and oversight of a Deputy Chief and Superintendent. Each of these units is directly supervised by experienced sergeants with a mandate to readily coordinate and rapidly transition investigations involving the exploitation of Indigenous women and girls, including missing persons investigations and homicide investigations.

Ontario

Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women.

Feb. 23, 2016 – $110M over 3 years

Main focus areas: Support for children, youth and families, Community safety and healing, Policing and justice, Prevention and awareness

Providing more than 200 Indigenous communities with supports and services through the Family Well-Being program, which includes hiring and training more front-line service workers, developing community-based programming and creating safe spaces.

Expanding Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin: I Am a Kind Man, from five to 26 sites across Ontario to support Indigenous men through healing and violence prevention programming.

The Anti-Human Trafficking Act

Feb. 22, 2017 – Introducing the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, which, if passed, would enable individuals to apply for restraining orders against human traffickers and make it easier for survivors to get compensation from those who trafficked them.

The Indigenous Anti-Human Trafficking Liaisons Program

Feb. 28, 2017 – Launching with the Ontario Native Women’s Association to support Indigenous-led approaches to end human trafficking. Through the liaison program, ONWA will continue to work with its Indigenous partners to: 

  • Support Indigenous communities in providing survivor-focused and localized responses to human trafficking
  • Provide advice, training and capacity-building to Indigenous and non-Indigenous service providers 
  • Contribute to the design, development and implementation of an Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund
  • Identify trends and targeted populations, as well as gaps in existing services.

Supporting indigenous-led approaches to end human trafficking is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Talk4Healing Helpline by Indigenous Women for Indigenous Women 

Oct. 9, 2019 – Launched on October 19, 2012, Talk4Healing is a 24-hr. helpline for Indigenous women, by Indigenous women’, offering services in 14 Indigenous languages as well as English. The expansion of the helpline that promotes the mental health and well-being of Indigenous women is supported by funding from the Provincial Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

Currently available only in northern Ontario communities with this expansion Talk4Healing will now be available throughout the province with telephone, text and chat services available to over 129,000 Indigenous women. With this expansion Talk4Healing will increase their call intake capacity ten-fold. Helpline services will continue to be provided by operating partner, Beendingen.

Journey to Safe SPACES: Indigenous Anti- Human Trafficking Engagement Report. Ontario Native Women’s Association

May 29, 2019 – The report, funded in collaboration with the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, provides a pathway for new collaborative and integrated working relationships in Ontario. ONWA has developed 14 recommendations, which ONWA proposes to implement through a six-part strategy rooted in relationships and collaboration:

#safeSPACES.

  • Survivor- centred and survivor informed services that are culture and gender based and delivered in a trauma-informed approach.
  • Prevention through education, training and public awareness campaigns, both in print and in person, targeting those who are most at risk and those who can respond first to the signs, namely peers, parents and educators.
  • Access to safe and respectful spaces at service delivery agencies that offer women only programming so women can speak openly and without fear about their experiences.
  • Core supports for transitioning to a new life, including emergency funding for immediate relocation, which is delivered in an expedient and efficient manner to ensure women and girls have no wait times to safety.
  • Evidence-based policy and system reform informed by survivor expertise and the successful extraction of Indigenous women by ONWAs multi-partner collaborative network that works across government, disciplines and professions.
  • Streamlined supports offered through a barrier free simplified process.

Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy

Mar. 6, 2020 – $307M over 5 years

A new, comprehensive five-year strategy to combat human trafficking and end child sexual exploitation across the province through a proactive, comprehensive action plan focused on four key areas:

  • Raising awareness of the issue by launching a new, province-wide marketing campaign to educate children, youth, parents, and the broader public about what human trafficking is, how to recognize the signs, and where to get help.
  • Holding offenders accountable by giving law enforcement more specialized Crown prosecution support for human trafficking cases, strengthening intelligence gathering in the correctional system, and investing in police services to help coordinate anti-human trafficking investigations and expand the Ontario Provincial Police Child Sexual Exploitation Unit.
  • Protecting victims and intervening early by investing in specialized intervention teams involving police and child protection services, incorporating human trafficking awareness into the education curriculum, and establishing dedicated, licensed residences to support victims, including those under the age of 16.
  • Supporting survivors by investing new funding in wrap-around, community-based supports and Indigenous-led initiatives to make more services available for survivors and by enhancing victim services to assist survivors throughout the court process.

To address the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and organizations, and frontline workers, Indigenous-specific initiatives are integrated throughout Ontario’s new strategy. Examples of these initiatives include targeted public awareness activities, Indigenous-led community-based supports for survivors such as counselling, cultural teachings and healing ceremonies, victim services delivered by Indigenous communities and organizations, and culturally-appropriate supports for at-risk youth.

Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund

June 15, 2020 – $46M over 5 years to increase community-based and Indigenous-specific supports for child and youth victims of sex trafficking. The Fund will prioritize early intervention and increased protection for victims of sexual exploitation and dedicated survivor supports. focus on areas such as:

  • Trauma-informed programming developed and delivered by survivor-led organizations,
  • Dedicated services for victims under age 18, including residential placements and treatment, peer mentoring, as well as education and employment training programs;
  • Culturally-appropriate, Indigenous-designed supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis victims, families and communities;
  • Targeted supports for sexually exploited boys, individuals with developmental disabilities, LGBTQ2S individuals, and racialized and newcomer populations;
  • Specialized programs for children and youth involved in or transitioning out of child welfare or the youth justice system.

http://nationtalk.ca/story/ontario-expanding-services-for-young-victims-of-sex-trafficking

Aug. 24, 2020$7.65M over 5 years as part of the Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy. Funding for specialized services to support human trafficking victims and survivors as part of the government’s comprehensive anti-human trafficking strategy. A portion of this funding will be directed to Victim Services Toronto, Victim Services of York Region and the province’s other Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario organizations. Programs include

  • Victim Quick Response Program+ 
  • Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario
  • Vulnerable Victims and Family Fund

https://nationtalk.ca/story/ontario-strengthens-supports-for-human-trafficking-victims-and-survivors

Aug. 31, 2020 : New Tools to Prevent Human Trafficking– The new tools are designed to provide innovative ways to actively engage youth in discussions about human trafficking and provide culturally-specific resources for Indigenous communities. They respond directly to needs identified by frontline service providers, survivors of human trafficking and Indigenous communities and organizations.

  • “Speak Out: Stop Sex Trafficking” is an Indigenous-focused anti-human trafficking educational campaign, designed by and for Indigenous people, that provides information about sexual exploitation and human trafficking – how to recognize it, why Indigenous people may be particularly vulnerable to being targeted and where to go for help. Resources include a website, downloadable materials for distribution in communities, and culturally relevant activities to help leaders and caregivers facilitate conversations with youth, to raise awareness and provide support.
  • “The Trap” is a Human Trafficking Digital Education Tool designed to raise awareness about sex trafficking among middle and high school-aged children and teens. The interactive tool allows youth to experience what it feels like to be targeted and recruited by a sex trafficker through an immersive chat experience. It features scenarios based on real-life experiences and with the support of an adult facilitator, youth learn the skills they need to stay safe.

The tools released today complement Ontario’s updated Health and Physical Education curriculum for grades 1-8 implemented last September.

Dec. 10, 2020 – The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services announced funding to be used by the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) to further develop and expand the Aakode’ewin – Courage for Change Program across Ontario, addressing the unique needs of the disproportionate numbers of Indigenous women, youth and girls affected by human trafficking. 

The program supports Indigenous women and girls at risk, currently involved in, or a survivor of human trafficking. It will focus specifically on exploited youth to get them the services and tools they need to exit. The program offers support in a variety of ways, including 24/7 crisis response, harm reduction and safety planning, 1-1 support with referrals to healthcare, counselling and addiction services, and programming focused on capacity building, empowerment and culturally specific healing. Through a multi-sector approach, care and services are provided in a trauma-informed anti-oppressive way, ensuring integration of culture-based practices and mainstream supports.

Other programs:

  • Programs for children aged 12 to 18 at the Roberts – Smart Centre in Ottawa that provide mental health supports, residential services, life skills training and mentorship.
  • A survivor-led peer mentoring and day program for children and youth at BridgeNorth in Newmarket, which provides supports from early intervention through to stabilization, transition and reintegration.

The creation of a mobile team at Timmins and Area Women in Crisis, which will travel to five remote and 11 rural First Nation communities in the region, providing culturally appropriate and survivor-led programming in preferred languages for vulnerable and underserviced Indigenous communities

Feb. 22, 2021 – New legislation and amendments to existing legislation to build upon the province’s $307 million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy.

The proposed changes include two new acts – the Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy Act, 2021 and the Accommodation Sector Registration of Guests Act, 2021 – as well as amendments to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 and the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking Act, 2017. Together, the proposed changes would support the government’s response to human trafficking by:

  • Supporting a long-term provincial response to human trafficking and emphasizing that all Ontarians have a role to play in combatting human trafficking;
  • Strengthening the ability of children’s aid societies and law enforcement to protect exploited children;
  • Supporting more survivors and the people who support them in obtaining restraining orders against traffickers, with specific consideration for Indigenous survivors;
  • Increasing the government’s ability to collect non-personal data to better understand the impact of the strategy and respond to human trafficking;
  • Providing law enforcement with more tools to locate victims and charge traffickers by:
    • Increasing penalties for traffickers who interfere with a child in the care of a children’s aid society;
    • Clarifying how and when police services can access information from hotel guest registries to help deter trafficking and identify and locate victims, while establishing regulation making authority to include other types of accommodation providers.
    • Requiring companies that advertise sexual services to have a dedicated contact to support investigations into suspected human trafficking.

May 27, 2021 – The province has released a strategy developed in collaboration with Indigenous partners that reinforces Ontario’s commitment to act on the Calls for Justice in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls…including the need for better access to stable housing, health care, education and employment. Pathways to Safety: Ontario’s Strategy in Response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls includes 118 initiatives organized under six pathways that will help create the changes required to eliminate the root causes of violence and advance meaningful reconciliation.

The Pathways for Action are:

  • Pathway to Security – Initiatives that promote safety, healing and wellness through prevention-focused resources, investments and programs, such as access to safe and affordable housing.
  • Pathway to Culture – initiatives supporting the education, training, employment and revitalization of Indigenous languages, cultures and identities.
  • Pathway to Health – initiatives that will promote safety and improve access to services including mental health supports for Indigenous women, children and justice-involved youth.
  • Pathway to Justice – initiatives that will contribute to system-wide transformation in priority sectors including policing services and child welfare.
  • Pathway to Responsibility and Accountability – principles that will be upheld to promote ongoing government accountability in collaboration with the Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council and Indigenous organizations.
  • Pathway to Identifying and Addressing Systemic Anti-Indigenous Racism and Indigenous Gender-based Analysis – initiatives that focus on addressing anti-Indigenous racism and developing an Indigenous gender-based analysis approach to inform Ontario’s strategy.

As part of Ontario’s strategy, the mandate of the Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council has been extended beyond March 2022. This will ensure that Indigenous voices continue to drive the strategy’s priorities and help build on the province’s progress to date in responding to violence against Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

mailto:https://www.ontario.ca/page/pathways-safety-ontarios-strategy-response-final-report-national-inquiry-missing-and-murdered

Prince Edward Island

June 3, 2021 – The Abegweit and Lennox Island First Nations and Indigenous organizations will each receive financial support to advance the important work from the Calls to Justice of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The Indigenous Relations Secretariat will provide annually a total of $250,000, $50,000 to each organization, to help increase their capacity to meaningfully engage their communities on MMIWG priority areas. The advice provided back to the Province will inform future government initiatives to support Indigenous peoples in Prince Edward Island. The Province formed the MMIWG Indigenous Working Group in 2020 with government officials as well as representatives from the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations and Indigenous organizations to identify and prioritize work that can respond to the local Calls to Justice. As of 2021, the four priority areas include education, health, housing, and capacity funding for the Indigenous led MMIWG work.

June 19, 2020 – Release of “Calls for Justice. MMIWG. A Preliminary Status Report for the Government of PEI” by the PEI Government with updates in actions taken in response to Calls to Justice in:

  • Human and Indigenous Rights and Governmental Obligations (4)
  • Culture (6)
  • Health and Wellness (12)
  • Human Security (13)
  • Justice (30)
  • Education (6)
  • Social Work and Child Welfare (8)

https://docs.assembly.pe.ca/download/dms?objectId=620ce46b-68e1-4282-8eef-2d07e2c8ae53&fileName=Premier.King.06192020.Missing and murdered indigenous women and girls status report.pdf

Quebec

Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec: listening, reconciliation and progress

Dec. 21, 2016 – Mandate will be to investigate more broadly the discrimination in the administration of public services towards the members of the Indigenous Peoples of Québec. The following public services are targeted: police, correctional, legal, health and social services, as well as youth protection services.

May 28, 2017 – Quebéc Native Women Open call for Indigenous women to participate in the Public Inquiry that starts in Val D’Or on June 5, 2017

Oct. 23, 2017 – Announces that it will no longer be represented by its lawyers at the hearings of the Public Inquiry Commission due to financial realities limiting the organization’s access to legal expertise and the continued refusal of funding bodies in the Quebec government to ensure their access to legal representation.

Mar. 12, 2020 – $200M over 5 yrs

Investments from Quebec’s 2020-21 budget to implement initiatives that will support Indigenous women and girls and improve access to services that are culturally adapted and thus meet the needs of Indigenous people. The Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ) believes  that the Government of Québec will consider the observations presented in the report of the “Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous peoples and certain public services” regarding piecemeal and discontinuous government actions. “The Native Friendship Centres play a key role in Indigenous wellness. It is our hope that, with this budget, the current administration will continue to recognize existing inequalities and the need to create and consolidate front-line services in the Friendship Centres to meet our members’ needs.”

First Nations Forum on Sexual Assault

Mar. 26, 2018 – 128 delegates from First Nations across the province of Québec. Organized in partnership by Québec Native Women (QNW) and the First Nations of Québec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC), the objective of this forum is to define an action plan to fight the cycle of sexual violence within First Nations by supporting both victims and aggressors in their healing journey. In a spirit of respect for our cultures, our action plan focuses on four main objectives:

  • better access to services
  • improved collaboration between all local and regional partners
  • mobilization of all the First Nations people to break the cycle of sexual violence, and
  • a consolidation of tools and mechanisms needed to break this cycle in a safe and sustainable way

Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI)

Aug. 10, 2018 – CISION – Québec Ministry of Public Security confirming the establishment of a special unit, including certain additional measures, within the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), which function will be to investigate any complaint alleging criminal acts towards a First Nation member committed by a police officer in Québec. These new measures will come into force on September 17, 2018

Dec. 4, 2020 – $18M funding to finance a set of measures intended to better adapt police intervention to the realities of Indigenous communities, in particular when it comes to women who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. Funding includes:

  • $1.2M to combat the sexual exploitation of Indigenous women and girls and countering all forms of sexual violence
  • $4M to improve the training of Indigenous police officers to be better equipped when intervening in situations of domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • $3.8M giving them access to the services offered by the Québec’s police school. 
  • Provide Indigenous police forces with liaison officers responsible for helping them better manage cases of sexual assault and to better inform victims of their rights in the event of legal recourse
  • Training on the reality Indigenous people experience in Québec will be designed and offered to correctional service officers, so that they have a better understanding of them. 

Jan. 27, 2021: NationTalk – A team of researchers from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) have collaborated with Quebec Native Women to examine how the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) responded to the crisis of MMIWG in Montreal?

From these potential solutions, several concrete actions have been identified and these must be undertaken by the SPVM in order to improve its response to MMIWG in Montreal:

  1. The SPVM must put forth an approach that is clear, coherent, that recognizes the binding nature of the 2015 Agreement and denotes a sincere and systematic engagement on behalf of the institution.
  2. The SPVM must implement a system that permits data analysis and the development of follow-up indicators regarding racial profiling.
  3. The SPVM must develop a model of protocols specific to all cases of MMIWG and applicable to any and all interventions with Indigenous women and girls.
  4. The SPVM must explore methods that are culturally safe and relevant in an effort to build cooperation, a culture of partnership and to establish a relationship of trust with Indigenous people.
  5. The concept of absolute equality and the different shapes that it can take when applied within the context of police intervention, must be mastered by all members of the SPVM.
  6. The SPVM must develop an Indigenous liaison team, with adequate Aboriginal representation amongst its members, to effectively distribute the responsibilities and workload amongst several persons.
  7. A working task force that involves the SPVM as well as other Indigenous organisations based in Montreal, such as Quebec Native Women, must be created without delay.
  8. Continued financial support for Indigenous organisations in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal must be committed and ensured.

https://nationtalk.ca/story/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-and-girls-researchers-at-uqam-join-quebec-native-women-in-calling-for-increased-collaboration-with-the-spvm

June 3, 2021 – $28.5M over 5 years for programs to address domestic violence:

  • $10 million has been allocated to help support prevention and intervention services in the field of domestic and family violence in Nunavik.
  • $9.8 million will be made available to Indigenous police forces to meet specific needs connected with domestic and family violence
  • $6 million for the implementation of the recommendations made by the Viens Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to support local, culturally relevant services to assist Indigenous men and women, and their close relatives, in the healing process.

New Brunswick

Increasing Private Sector Leadership and Investments in Women Experiencing Violence

Aug. 23, 2018 – $308,724

Funding from Status of Women Canada for a project

that will increase women’s economic security. This 36-month project will help increase the economic security of women who have experienced domestic violence by providing opportunities for sustainable employment by engaging key stakeholders in the development of an action plan to address barriers faced by women fleeing situations of violence. The main activities include a needs assessment to determine the scope of the issue and the creation of an action plan to develop new business policies and procedures that include accommodation options for women fleeing violence. The project will also pilot the implementation of such options through work experiences for women and provide an evaluation of the initiative.

Indigenous Missing Person’s Helpline

April 2, 2019 – A new helpline will assist families and friends of missing Indigenous people in New Brunswick navigate police, media and justice systems in an effort to find their loved ones and bring them home safely. The helpline is the latest resource developed in a collaboration between UNB law professor Dr. Jula Hughes, the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council and Gignoo Transition House. The project, “Looking out for each other: Assisting Aboriginal families and communities when an Aboriginal woman goes missing,” is seeking ways to prevent victimization and improve outcomes for missing Indigenous people including women, girls and sexual and gender minorities in Eastern Canada.

Nova Scotia

Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Feb. 20, 2020 – $1.4M per yr over 5 yrs

  • Investing more into programs, services and supports that will raise awareness, prevention and directly help victims and survivors, with an added focus on Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities.
  • hire family and victim support navigators for Halifax Regional Municipality, Cape Breton Regional Municipality and the South Shore. These navigator roles will provide additional support to African Nova Scotian and Indigenous victims and survivors
  • provide funding to hire a new Crown prosecutor dedicated to prosecuting human trafficking cases and for specialized training for Crown prosecutors on human trafficking issues
  • designate six province-wide positions from the Additional Officer Program as dedicated investigators in the areas of gender-based violence, specifically domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking investigators
  • the province will also provide funding to re-open the Jane Paul Indigenous Women’s Resource Centre

Appointment of Crown Attorney dedicated to prosecuting human trafficking offenses

July 8, 2020 – Senior Crown Attorney Ms. Josie McKinney, the first Crown attorney dedicated to the prosecution of human trafficking offences is Mi’kmaq and Maliseet and an alumna of the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Initiative at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Ministers Committee on Violence Against Women and Girls

Dec. 8, 2017 – The top justice issues identified by participants were:

  • Education and training for justice professionals;
  • More resources for Indigenous communities;
  • Restorative Justice, including adequate programming for offenders to end cycle of violence; and
  • Re-victimization of individuals at various stages of the justice system, including victim blaming and fear of children being removed from home.

Building Understanding: Strengthening Lives

Aug. 17, 2018 – $291,243 from the Status of Women Canada.

Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network Inc. is receiving funding for a 36-month project focused on increasing Indigenous women’s reporting of domestic violence, and improving access to culturally-relevant support services within the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Progress Report on Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Woman and Girls

Oct. 1, 2018 – The steering committee has met five times since forming in April. Through these meetings the committee has identified a number of priority issues including, but not limited to examining:

  • the application of Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs);
  • alternative means to encourage higher rates of reporting sexual and intimate partner violence, such as third party or anonymous reporting; and
  • enhanced mechanisms to monitor and deter perpetrators of intimate partner violence.

Moose Hide Campaign

Mar. 11, 2020 – Announcement that the House of Assembly is participating in the Moose Hide Campaign (MHC) today. The campaign – launched in 2011 – is an Indigenous-led initiative of men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women and children. This is the third year for the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly to participate in the MHC.

Inuit Nunangat

Addressing Gendered Violence against Inuit Women: A review of police policies and practices in Inuit Nunangat

Jan. 31, 2020 – Pauktuutit Inuit Women Canada and Dr. Elizabeth Comack Department of Sociology and Criminology University of Manitoba examined the role of policing behind the following statistics around Inuit women in Inuit Nunangat:

Violent crime = 13 x higher than national average

Sexual assault = 12 x higher than prov./terr. average

The report issued recommendations in the following areas:

  • Culturally competent policing
  • Inuit Advisory Committee
  • Trauma-informed policing
  • Vicarious trauma
  • Gender-based Violence Training
  • Gender-based Policing Protocols
  • Female Officers
  • Gendered Violence Prevention Liaison
  • Community Integration
  • Duration of Postings
  • Inuit Civilian Positions
  • Police Accessibility
  • Community Education
  • Community Engagement
  • Federal Government Responsibilities

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and the RCMP Commissioner meet to discuss police practices relating to Inuit women

July 14, 2020NationTalk – President Rebecca Kudloo and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki discussed police practices as they relate to Inuit women, and the possibility of creating an MOU between Pauktuutit and the RCMP. Brian Brennan, RCMP Deputy Commissioner of Contract and Indigenous Policing, also took part in the conference call. Specifically, Commissioner Lucki expressed her support for the Inuit-specific Calls for Justice, as outlined in the 2019 MMIWG report, as well as the importance of investing in related community supports, such as access to emergency shelters and mental health services. She also spoke about the RCMP’s current work in recruiting and training a much greater number of Inuit police officers.

http://nationtalk.ca/story/pauktuutit-inuit-women-of-canada-takes-part-in-constructive-dialogue-with-rcmp-commissioner-brenda-lucki

Jan. 26, 2021 – Government is committed fund the construction and operations of shelters for Inuit women and children across Inuit Nunangat as well as in urban centres. Funding for the new shelters will be part of the $724.1 million for a comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy as announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement. The government will continue to work with Pauktuutit and other Inuit partners to determine the locations and define the details of the projects to best meet the needs of women and families seeking shelter.

Jan. 27, 2021NationTalk – “Pinasuqatigiinniq (Inuit for working together collaboratively) Agreement” between Pauktuutit Inuit Women Canada and the RCMP MOU. The agreement formalizes the two organizations’ working relationship, and improves the protection and safety of Inuit women, children and gender-diverse persons. The agreement commits each organization to working together towards implementing recommendations from Pauktuutit’s 2020 report, “Addressing Gendered Violence against Inuit Women: A review of police policies and practices in Inuit Nunangat”.

As the first step in this historic agreement, the RCMP and Pauktuutit are implementing a work plan that includes reviewing the RCMP’s cultural competency training, establishing a family violence coordinator in Nunavut (RCMP V Division), and consulting with Inuit women on the RCMP’s Body-Worn Cameras pilot project in Iqaluit. Pauktuutit and the RCMP are committed to sharing information and working together on emerging issues. Regular meetings will occur between the two organizations’ national leadership, as well as with RCMP Commanding Officers in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Newfoundland and Labrador

Jan. 27, 2021NationTalk – As part of the RCMP’s Vision 150 modernization strategy and reconciliation efforts, the RCMP is entering into agreements with women’s National Indigenous Organizations to develop collaborative, community-driven and culturally sensitive crime prevention, violence reduction and training initiatives. Through funding provided by the Government of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, the RCMP developed two courses for RCMP employees on how to use a trauma-informed approach when conducting investigations, as well as helping employees better understand the impacts of culture and personal identity on actions, perceptions, interactions and experiences.

MMIWG: Summary of Findings for Urban Indigenous Peoples

September 2020 – National Association of Friendship Centre applied an urban lens to the Calls to Justice (C2Js) of the MMIWG Inquiry with a focus on the four pathways requiring address “to reclaim power and place”.

  1. historical, multigenerational, and intergenerational trauma;
  2. social and economic marginalization;
  3. maintaining the status quo and institutional lack of will;
  4. ignoring the agency and expertise of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

NAFC takes two analytical approaches which provide two different insights:

  • the first is a narrow read of the CTJs that speak to program, service and other needs that exist in urban contexts;
  • the second is a broad read where we apply the underlying logic to the CTJs to understand their spirit and intent and then apply them to urban issues in ways that might not be apparent at first glance.

Our analytical approach rests on the basis that the CTJs are meant to be understood as promoting, enabling and supporting self-determination and, as a result, can be broadly read and interpreted by Indigenous groups seeking to take steps to address systemic violence and its root causes.

There are 7 main categories of CTJs applying to urban Indigenous peoples:

  • recommendations to ensure adequate services,
  • housing recommendations,
  • income and economic security recommendations,
  • safety and security recommendations (including policing),
  • recommendations pertaining to justice (including supporting victims),
  • recommendations pertaining to child welfare, and
  • recommendations pertaining to training or cultural awareness.

A Narrow Road:

Only 5 CTJs specifically include urban Indigenous peoples by direct reference. Those CTJs call for:

  • access to housing (4.6);
  • counting urban Inuit people in order to determine Inuit population numbers (16.6);
  • creating shelters, safe houses and second-stage housing for Inuit in cities (16.19);
  • creating culturally appropriate programming for urban Métis (17.7);
  • building up 2SLGBTQQIA communities (18.7).

In our view, the scarcity of urban-specific recommendations reinforces that urban Indigenous peoples are meant to be included in broader CTJs that have clear and direct implications for urban Indigenous peoples.

Main Take-aways from a Narrow Road

Urban Indigenous service providers should be fully supported by the relevant jurisdiction(s) for:

  • Participating in the planning and creation of a National Action Plan (1.1.);
  • Offering no-barrier and status-blind programming addressing employment, housing, education, safety and healthcare (1.1);
  • Services and programs related to democratic participation and inclusion (1.4);
  • Social, economic, and cultural programming, including distinctions or nation-specific cultural programming related to language or knowledge, as determined by the needs of Indigenous clients (1.6, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5);
  • Programs, including campaigns, to prevent violence, including combatting lateral violence (1.8, 1.9);
  • Participation in the development and support of an Anti-Racism and Anti Sexism National Action Plan (2.6)
  • Culturally appropriate health and wellness services, including community-based trauma-informed programs, that are barrier free and status-blind (3.2, 3.4, 3.6)
  • Community-based programming to improve social and economic security (4.2)
  • Design and deliver programs and services to promote the safety and security of those  in the sex industry, in partnership with those who have lived experience in the sex industry (4.3)
  • Housing supports, including transition homes, shelters, safe spaces, etc. (4.6, 4.7)
  • Partnering and/or collaborating with police services, child welfare services, legal services, and other services that come into direct contact with vulnerable urban Indigenous people (9.8, 10.1, 12.11)

A Broad Read

Suffice it to say, given the report’s emphasis on culturally appropriate programs and services, self-determination, the reclaiming of power and place, and given both the high population of urban Indigenous peoples (i.e., over 50%) and high rates of violence, it is reasonable to conclude that CTJs might have multiple reasonable interpretations within the urban Indigenous context. Indeed, the principles prefacing the CTJs clearly indicate this to be the case.

We think the question can be answered by imagining CTJs as a desired future end-state and working backwards from there to here today. The steps along the way are what we believe are the “broad read” that fall within the spirit and intent of the CTJs. We have taken a simple analysis pathway and have come up with some reasonable interpretations at the end of this section. However, there are any number of reasonable interpretations, so the process matters more than the outcomes we arrived to.

Based on our broad read, we interpreted the Inquiry to suggest that urban Indigenous organizations may undertake and should receive support for:

  • communications functions, such as capacity to undertake public relations or to promote Indigenous-positive media stories (2.7, 6.1)
  • programs or services related to transit (4.8)
  • Culturally relevant victims services and independent legal services (5.6)
  • Activities that contribute to judicial appointments and appointments related to policing (5.12, 9.2)
  • legal aid (5.13)
  • research related to men who commit violence (5.25)
  • Advising current health providers on the creation and delivery of trauma-informed services (7.2)
  • Collaborative health initiatives delivered through health and wellness service providers on a variety of areas for Indigenous men, boys, women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA
  • training healthcare providers on Indigenous history, language, culture, and healing practices, and deliver anti-bias and anti-racism training (7.6)
  • programming, training, or funding programs to encourage indigenous peoples to train for and pursue careers in health and wellness (7.7, 7.8)
  • programming or training related to Indigenous culture and history for those in the legal profession (10.1)
  • programs, services, and/or policy development related to resolving issues of poverty, housing, and food security (12.4)
  • distinctions or nations-based programming related to language or culture for children and youth (12.6)
  • programs, services, and/or policy development related to supporting those who are “aging out” from the child welfare system (12.11)
  • the development and/or delivery of programming for men and boys to confront and end violence (14.12)
Joining the Circle: Identifying Key Ingredients for Effective Police Reconciliation

Nov. 2019 – The purpose of this paper is to identify the key ingredients, techniques, challenges, and opportunities for police professionals to engage in effective collaboration within Indigenous communities. The consultations and data gathered for this paper identify how police involvement in information-sharing and collaboration with various Indigenous human service sectors can help reduce barriers, establish trust for police, and reduce violence against women and girls.

Objectives & Outcomes

This project was driven by several objectives originally outlined in the proposal, and reinforced during preliminary and interim reporting activities to Public Safety Canada. They include:

  • Identify areas of police policy and practice requiring improvement;
  • Identify successful models of multi-sector collaboration that reduce violence against Indigenous peoples;
  • Determine key ingredients, traits and skill-sets that contribute to positive police-Indigenous
  • relations;
  • Prepare recommendations that support the development of tools and resources for police (and other human service professionals) to use in improving collaborative opportunities to reduce violence against Indigenous people.

The objectives for this project were designed to help produce three intended outcomes. These include:

  • Enhanced awareness of key challenges in police-Indigenous relations, together with the identification of key mitigating strategies and tactics;
  • Improved understanding of, and commitment to, adopting multi-sector collaboration within an Indigenous context;
  • Knowledge of opportunities to reduce violence against Indigenous people through effective multi-sector collaboration.

Actionable Recommendations

The key deliverable in this paper is a list of actionable recommendations that government stakeholders, police administrators and frontline professionals can implement in order to effectively collaborate with Indigenous communities in a way that reduces violence against women and girls. Appearing in no particular order of importance, the following recommendations are inspired by the findings of this report.

1) LEADERSHIP 

Efforts should be made to encourage senior police leaders to initiate a paradigm shift within their organizations to align and prioritize strategic planning, resource allocation, policies, procedures and practices with multi-sector collaboration efforts. Leadership commitments to this transformation process will contribute to medium and longer-term outcomes in community safety and well-being.

2) MANAGEMENT

Police organizations should focus on engaging mid-level managers in building pathways to effective police collaboration within Indigenous communities. Both the literature and interview process single out mid-level management as the place where high-level commitments and frontline experience seem to disconnect. Having mid-level managers involved will close this gap, and bring much-needed support for frontline officers making efforts in communities to effectively collaborate.

3) EDUCATION 

Police educators, with the support of Public Safety Canada’s First Nations Policing Program, should pursue development of imbedded coursework in cadet training around multi-sector collaboration, problem-solving, and upstream service mobilization within Indigenous communities.

4) TRAINING 

Public Safety Canada, in partnership with Indigenous educators and policing stakeholders, should develop a robust police training program and corresponding campaign to be implemented Canada-wide and at all levels of police organizations. Training should focus on Indigenous history, colonialism, residential schools, the 60’s scoop, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, and findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Training strategies might include experiential learning, virtual reality, survivor stories, usage of self-reflection, and the KAIROS blanket exerciseFootnote6. Proven approaches to the delivery of such training should be incorporated to present the relevant history and experience without undermining the very spirit and intents of both collaboration and reconciliation. 

5) UPSTREAM PROCESS 

Police organizations should empower and enable police officers to detect vulnerability to violence upstream, and support client service access before violence occurs. The most effective efforts in crime prevention, violence elimination, and community safety are when vulnerable individuals and families are supported before crisis occurs—not after. Police are in very advantageous positions to detect risk upstream, and by collaborating with service partners, open up opportunities to support individuals at-risk of violence. To act on this, police need support and encouragement from leadership to get involved, and collaborate upstream.

6) CULTURAL COMPETENCY 

Police professionals at all levels should be assessed for cultural competency, in a manner co-created by Indigenous and police stakeholders. This competency should be embedded and continuously supported throughout the life of a police career.

7) MEASUREMENT 

Police organizations should develop a measurement structure used to track police involvement, challenges, solutions, and positive outcomes in collaboration within Indigenous communities. Ongoing monitoring of these data can help identify opportunities to build capacity, troubleshoot, and strengthen collaborative commitments police make to Indigenous communities.

8) POLICY 

Police organizations should establish longer postings of officers in Indigenous communities. By the time most police officers have created positive relationships, are able to problem-solve, and are contributing to improvements in the community, they are transferred. Too often, important police relationships with communities come to an end when an invested officer transfers out. 

9) RECRUITMENT 

A criterion for candidate assessment should be their willingness to see collaboration as a vital tool in law enforcement, their interest in Indigenous community engagement, and their ability to see themselves as an asset and support to individuals who are at-risk of or who have been exposed to violence.

10) SHARED OWNERSHIP

Police planning, measurement, accountability, and reporting should be pursued through a framework of shared ownership between police, their authority (e.g., provincial government), and local Indigenous communities. This provides an opportunity for both police and their human service partners, to become mutually accountable for the safety and well-being outcomes in a community. A shared ownership framework would help build leadership support required to overcome difficult challenges in multi-sector collaboration. It would also contribute to increased capacity for police and Indigenous human service partners to generate a collective impact on violence against women and girls.  

11) IMPLEMENTATION 

In the spirit of collaboration, police themselves should have a nationally and provincially-coordinated and collaborative approach to implementing these recommendations, and learning from one another during the implementation process.

https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/2019-jtc/2019-jtc-en.pdf

Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of MMIWG (2020)

Ontario Native Women’s Association developed frameworks based on Indigenous worldviews, Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous women’s lived experiences. The frameworks are based on how Indigenous women describe their own ways of knowing and being. We provide three frameworks that inform the recommendations we offer for the National Action Plan.

First framework is ONWA’s Theory of Change which recognizes that Indigenous women are experts in their lives and know the solutions to issues we experience.

Second framework is ONWA’s Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis (IGBA) which recognizes that constructs of Indigenous women in Canada, a country built on colonization, reduces Indigenous women to victims and never builds them as leaders in their lives, their families, communities or Nations. Applying an intersectional framework, we realize that Indigenous women occupy multiple social identities; some that negatively impact Indigenous women’s lives directly influencing the level of violence we experience.

Third framework is She is Wise which positions Indigenous women’s knowledge and practices in an understanding of Indigenous women’s leadership. It provides guidance to define policy and deliver programs that support Indigenous women’s experiences and moves Indigenous women into their leadership roles.

Recommendations

Action 1.1

The National Action Plan applies an Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis that ensures safety for Indigenous women and girls is at the focus of all investments through the Plan including measuring the current system’s safety levels and dismantling barriers or systems that cause harm.

Action 2.1

The federal government ensures full participation of Indigenous women and their organizations in all aspects of the development and implementation of the National Action Plan.

Action 2.2

The federal government invests in a national gathering where provincial, national, and local Indigenous women’s organizations come together to provide advice and guidance on how Indigenous women want to see themselves represented and determine ways to support and sustain Indigenous women’s voices into national policy and decision-making processes.

Action 3.1

Indigenous women’s organizations receive direct and core sustainable funding to continue policy and systemic work to end violence against Indigenous women and to provide safe spaces for women and their families through services and programs.

Action 3.2

An Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis be undertaken on funding provided to Indigenous women’s organization as compared to other Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations.

Action 4.1

Address the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the care of child welfare agencies. A complete realignment of the child welfare system that provides Indigenous women and families with consistent early prevention, intervention, and wrap-around supports. Shift from risk and crisis responses to prevention and support services. The work currently done by the child welfare system be done with, or within, the Indigenous community.

Action 4.2

A committed long-standing investment in community-based programs through Indigenous women’s organizations that supports and nurtures Indigenous women’s ability to mother and includes Indigenous parenting programs that span a child’s lifecycle, domestic violence programs that offer culturally-appropriate early intervention and prevention including healing programs and appropriate safety planning.

Action 4.3

Legislative changes to replace “duty to report” with a mandated “duty to refer” and an increase in relationships between health care providers and children’s aid societies with Indigenous service providers, such as ONWA, so Indigenous families improve outcomes and mitigate risks.

Action 5.1

Reinstatement of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation funding and programs to support healing services for Indigenous women, families and communities.

Action 5.2

Establish addiction programs and services for Indigenous women that support families staying together as part of the healing process.

Action 6.1

The government of Canada meaningfully engages Indigenous women and invests in Indigenous women’s organizations to develop federal
policy and funding formulas. A nation-to-nation policy framework must ensure that Indigenous women are guaranteed equitable representation at all levels of governance including in their home communities, municipalities, provinces/ territories, and federally.

Action 6.2

The National Action Plan should not use a distinction-based approach when moving to implementation so as not to create divisions in urban communities or between urban and other Indigenous communities. The plan should not ignore the needs of Indigenous women who are not connected to national Indigenous organizations. The National Action Plan must include all Indigenous women, regardless of whether we are First Nations, Inuit or Métis and regardless of where they live

Action 7.1

Remedy of sex discrimination in the Indian
Act be fully implemented including residual discrimination in communities that remain a legacy of the governance structures imbedded in the Indian Act.

Action 7.2

The federal government put appropriate investments into S-3 implementation including appropriate staffing for the registration of women and their children under S-3 and that a strength- based educational campaign be developed for First Nations communities and for women who want to apply.

Action 7.3

Indigenous communities receive support to establish comprehensive safety plans in their communities in which Indigenous women lead the engagement and design of the plan and communities invest in those plans.

Action 8.1

All recommendations from ONWA’s 2019 Journey to Safe SPACES report be a program development guide in all areas of work for Human Trafficking. ONWA works as a partner to implement the National Action Plan recommendations. First priorities are:

  • Sustainable programs and services that address survivor-specific needs—including wrap-around 24-hour services for Human Trafficking in cities across the country— be implemented. Specialized staff provides trauma-informed care with an understanding of sexual exploitation and the realities of women who are trafficked. Services must be provided in a non- judgmental way. Survivor perspectives and expertise inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of services.
  • Collaborative mechanisms be put into place to allow for provincial and national data collection on the human trafficking of Indigenous peoples that balances the privacy of survivors who access services with data collected by the legal system.
  • Specialized trauma-informed victim services for survivors who appear in court be created. When charges are laid against a trafficker, survivors need to be supported by specialized, trauma- informed services. Survivor safety must be prioritized throughout legal processes including protecting survivors from re-victimization in providing witness testimony.

Action 8.2

The development of a National Strategy on Sexual Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls. The plan must focus on the root causes of sexual violence against Indigenous women and girls through the provision of trauma-informed culturally-grounded supports for women and girls experiencing this form of violence. The plan includes:

  • The need for increased and equitable funding for emergency health services, medical services, sexual assault prevention, and response services for Indigenous women and girls to ensure we receive the necessary care and treatment including aftercare supports.
    • All First Nation nursing stations be provided the equipment and training resources to safely perform sexual assault evidence kits in a respectful trauma- informed culturally-appropriate manner.

Action 9.1

Establish a strengths-based Indigenous Women’s Victim Services Strategy that focuses on providing culturally-safe and effective victim services. Indigenous women should design and develop the strategy to support culturally-appropriate outcomes rooted in an understanding of the whole health and well-being of Indigenous women and their families.

Action 9.2

Establish clear policing standards and training related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls regardless of the police force.

Action 9.3

Develop national standards for Gladue reports that are culturally-grounded and trauma- informed. The standards must be Indigenous developed and implemented.

Action 9.4

Establish adequate and permanent funding to Indigenous-led non-profit organizations to provide culturally-grounded trauma-informed Gladue support services and to fulfill the intended remedial purpose of the Gladue principles. Autonomous Indigenous women’s organizations should be given priority funding for Gladue report writing and Gladue support services programs for Indigenous women. For individuals who completed a Gladue report
and have identified sexual assault or human trafficking and if they want to, an investigation be automatically initiated, as there is no statute of limitations on these crimes.

Action 9.5

All police forces across Canada review and implement the recommendations from the 2018 report, Broken Trust: Indigenous People and the Thunder Bay Police Service and/or do their own inquiry into their organization’s behaviour around systemic racism; and all police forces develop and maintain procedures and processes for criminal and general investigations:

  • Criminal Organization;
  • Human Trafficking;
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and
  • Hate Crimes and Violence against Indigenous Peoples.

Action 10.1

The federal government makes a significant investment in research with Indigenous women’s organizations to facilitate research on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls that is led and owned by Indigenous women’s organizations.

Action 10.2

A national database on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls be established that addresses jurisdictional issues and that captures information beyond what is currently collected.

Action 10.3

All levels of government ensure Indigenous women’s full participation in policy development and decision-making processes that affect
them. This includes a significant investment into Indigenous women’s policy capacity and the engagement of Indigenous women’s leadership, knowledge, and expertise in policy reform related to social programs and service development. This is essential for Indigenous women to reclaim their voices.

Action 10.4

Indigenous women become the leaders in the development of a comprehensive performance measurement framework for the National Action Plan utilizing an agreed-upon research strategy that encourages collaboration among stakeholders and combines Indigenous and non- Indigenous knowledge.

Action 11.1

An educational fund be set up for Indigenous women and girls to pursue education programs without having to rely on getting permission through chief and council structures.

Action 11.2

Invest in Indigenous women’s organizations to establish safety standards for educational institutions including learning guidelines for curriculums.

Action 12.1

The National Action Plan address the need for increased funding, including capacity funding, to Indigenous women’s services and organizations (provincial and local Indigenous women’s organizations), Indigenous women’s shelters, and Indigenous midwifery organizations. The federal government is held accountable for funding types and amounts flowed to the organizations. The funding must be sustainable and the amounts equivalent to both needs and desired programmatic outcomes.

Action 12.2

Working with Indigenous women, Indigenous communities identify institutional investments in a wide range of accessible culturally-grounded and respectful community supports and services for Indigenous women and girls.

Action 12.3

The National Action Plan supports and requires increased collaboration between the federal government, provincial governments, and Indigenous women’s organizations to better respond to the social determinant needs of Indigenous women and their families. This can take the form of working groups comprised of Indigenous women whose mandate is to review relevant legislation and clarify jurisdictional responsibilities that impact Indigenous women’s lives.

Action 13.1

Establish an oversight body to monitor the National Action Plan’s progress. Indigenous women need to play a significant role
in governance and operations to ensure accountability and to have input on solutions and outcomes that have lasting positive impacts on Indigenous women and their families. In addition to a national oversight body, there should be provincial and community-based oversight bodies.

Action 13.2

Establish standardized death investigation processes, provincially and nationally, to ensure that Indigenous women and girls that need an autopsy receive one. Establish a standardized systems approach to death investigations that records the deceased’s race in all autopsies. Ensure that the process provides family members with as much information as possible about their loved one’s death.

Action 13.3

Provide Indigenous women’s organizations with financial support for staff positions to report on the progress of all levels of government to the United Nations bodies on the National Action Plan implementation.

Indigenous Responses to the MMIWG Final Report

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak

June 4, 2019 – Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak is the voice of Métis women from across the homeland.

The National Inquiry has failed its mandate for Métis Women and Girls. While the Final Report has 29 Métis-Specific Calls for Justice, none of these provide concrete and effective action that can be taken or include the identification and examination of practices that have been effective in reducing violence and increasing safety for Métis Women and Girls that the Inquiry was specifically directed to do in the Terms of Reference of the National Inquiry. Very few of the recommendations actually speak to working in partnership with Métis communities or organizations to remedy these gaps, or establishing a nation-to-nation, government-to-government approach. The Final Report contains numerous problematic statements and recommendations that actually undermine the self-determination actions of the Métis Nation to respect self-identification of Métis and completely ignores the Métis Nation Definition.

Assembly of First Nations

June 3, 2021 -The AFN together with the AFN Women’s Council, today released a 44-page action plan “Breathing Life into the Calls for Justice: An Action Plan to End Violence Against First Nations Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, urging enhanced and improved coordination efforts and resources to see real action and change to improve the safety of First Nations and assist families seeking justice. The plan was developed with direct input and contributions by First Nations survivors of gender-based violence and families of missing or murdered loved ones through an extensive and still ongoing engagement process led by the AFN Women’s Council.

It makes recommendations for coordinated action in four priority areas:

  • Justice: address barriers and inequalities in Canada’s justice system
  • Human security: ensure equitable access to basic needs, including shelter, food, and education
  • Health and wellness: provide services and programs that are culturally appropriate and trauma informed
  • Culture as safety: make cultural identity a priority in all preventative, supportive, and healing activities

This First Nations action plan is part of a broader plan developed in coordination with the National Families and Survivors Circle, federal, provincial/territorial, municipal and Indigenous governments, Indigenous representative organizations, and Indigenous partners and communities.  Both reports are in response to the 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released two years ago today.

April 26, 2021 – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is developing a First Nations-led National Action Plan to End Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA Peoples as mandated in Resolution 67/2019 passed at the AFN Annual General Assembly in Fredericton, NB. Resolution 67/2019 directs the AFN Secretariat to work together with the AFN Women’s Council to develop a First Nations-led National Action Plan with input from the regions and First Nation survivors, families and First Nations Coalitions and Grassroots Family organizations.

Throughout April and May 2021, AFN is hosting regional engagement sessions across the country designed with a “families first” approach to ensure those most impacted have a key role in driving efforts to address and end violence. The engagement sessions will welcome First Nation survivors, families and leadership to provide input and guidance in the development of the plan based on experiences in the different regions across the country.

Input from these discussion sessions in the regions will help build regional reports that will then inform the First Nations-led National Action Plan. This work will ultimately contribute to the broader National Action Plan being developed by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNA).

June 8, 2020 – The Chair of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Women’s Council, Chief Connie Big Eagle, said a National Action Plan which addresses violence, policing, and justice issues is urgently needed. There are numerous recommendations within the National Inquiry’s report that deal with policing issues and police interactions with First Nations women and girls,” said Chief Big Eagle. The AFN and the AFN Women’s Council have consistently advocated for immediate action such as greater funding for shelters and safe spaces, mental health supports, programming for men and boys, prevention, and greater funding for First Nations to develop land-based prevention and healing programs.

June 4, 2019 – AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde says immediate and sustained action in coordination with First Nations is essential to fully implement the recommendations and Calls to Justice in the final report. The AFN, together with First Nations, families and other Indigenous organizations, has consistently called for immediate action prior to the Inquiry and during the Inquiry process, and has outlined specific areas where immediate action can be taken to address and end violence.

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami

June 3, 2020 – On the anniversary of the release of the final report of the MMIWG, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) remains committed to the full implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice, including the co-development of a National Action Plan with Inuit leadership, National Indigenous Organizations, the Prime Minister, and the Government of Canada. ITK continues to advocate for the implementation of Call for Justice 1.7 regarding the creation of a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson and a National Indigenous Human Rights Tribunal, and calls for these measures to be included in forthcoming legislation to implement the UN Declaration in Canada.

ITK has committed to implementing all of the Calls for Justice, including 46 Inuit-specific calls, through a June 2019 resolution of the ITK Board of Directors. To this end, the implementation of the Calls for Justice are now a priority area within the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, where Inuit leadership, the Prime Minister and federal ministers pursue mutual goals to implement shared ambitions.

At an organizational level, ITK developed its 2020-2023 Strategy and Action Plan with an MMIWG lens. It was released in May with a 98% overlap in its deliverables and the 46 Inuit-specific Calls for Justice. It sets as objectives a number of policy areas with direct links to the Calls for Justice, including:

  • taking action to reduce poverty among Inuit, which includes quantifying the social costs associated with poverty in Inuit Nunangat and advancing poverty reduction interventions;
  • advancing Inuit-specific health and social development policies, programs and initiatives, which includes specific reference to supporting the implementation of the Calls for Justice; and
  • supporting Inuktut revitalization and promotion.

June 27, 2019 – In a resolution passed unanimously at a meeting of the ITK Board of Directors, Inuit leaders, including the Presidents of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Nunatsiavut Government, Makivik Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation supported the full implementation of the Calls for Justice contains within the National Inquiry into Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in their final report and commit to fulfilling obligations laid out through its Calls for Justice, including the 46 Inuit-Specific Calls for Justice.


ITK will work with the Inuit regions, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and the National Inuit Youth Council to facilitate the full implementation of all Calls for Justice contained in the Final Report of the National Inquiry.”
Inuit leaders discussed the Inuit-specific Calls for Justice (16.1 to 16.46) within the full context of the report. Inuit leaders support

  • the affirmation that land claim and self-government agreements between Inuit and the Crown be upheld and implemented,
  • the commitment to Inuktut, Inuit knowledge, culture and values, and art within the Calls for Justice.
  • Inuit leaders also welcome the acknowledgement of the importance of the implementation of the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy,
  • the full realization of the Nanilavut project, and
  • the implementation of the recommendations contained within the Qikiqtani Truth Commission.
Native Women’s Association of Canada

June 3, 2019 – The process of colonization created the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The report exposes this crisis that is centuries in the making. It also highlights that discrimination is deeply rooted in policies, practices and laws, denying Indigenous women their basic human rights. This discrimination and systemic violence must end by implementing the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice. Recommendations (from MMIWG section NWAC website):

  • Engage with communities through a culturally relevant gender based analysis to address and end the systemic violence that impacts Indigenous women, girls, gender-diverse people and their families and communities.  
  • Provide Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people with the option and opportunity of removing themselves from abusive relationships through community and network support. 
  • Enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people.  

June 23, 2020 -NWAC is calling upon ministers — federal, provincial and territorial — as well as police forces across Canada and the RCMP to take the first necessary steps to end the needless deaths and assaults of Indigenous women, men and gender-diverse people at the hands of Canadian police by immediately implementing the three following reforms:

  • all frontline police officers be equipped with body cameras;
  • “shoot-to-kill” orders be revised to make non-violent apprehension the imperative when suspects are not brandishing firearms, and to better train officers on how to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations; and
  • turn over some of the duties currently performed by police when called to deal with an Indigenous person who is suffering from a mental health issue to social workers, health professionals or elders (many others have called for this reform in recent days as well).

Feb. 10. 2021 – NWAC and the Moosehide Campaign Development Society have signed an historic memorandum committing the two organizations to work together to end the ongoing violence against Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people. It is an acknowledgement that men, including Indigenous men, must be part of the solution to end what the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls determined to be a genocide. Raven Lacerte, the co-founder and ambassador of the Moose Hide Campaign, said: “Our collective efforts of ensuring this country is a safe and loving place for our precious Indigenous women is driving this connection. We realize the need for everyone to be part of the solution … We believe men and boys need to be part of the conversation in order to be part of the solutions to make this country safe for all of us.”

June 1, 2021 – Release of NWAC Action Plan “Our Calls. Our Actions NWAC’s Action Plan to End the Attack Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and Gender-Diverse People”. The Action Plan identified 65 specific recommendations across the following themes:

  • Culture and Language (3)
  • Health and Wellness (4)
  • Human Security (20)
  • International (5)
  • Justice (10)
  • Public Awareness (23)

June 4, 2021 – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is taking immediate steps to file a Human Rights complaint in Canada and to request International intervention and investigation by the Organization of American States (OAS) and United Nations (UN) in forcing the federal government to take the steps necessary to end the genocide against Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people.

NWAC is taking that urgent action following a failed effort on the part of the federal government to table a genuine action plan to address the genocide against Indigenous women in Canada. Two years after the national Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls filed its final report, the federal government table a document called Federal Pathways earlier today in lieu of the national action plan that the Inquiry had mandated.

This means that the government is not taking action on the 231 Calls for Justice that are legal imperatives. As set out in Calls for Justice 1.1 the action plan had to have:

  • dedicated funding
  • timelines for implementation
  • measurable goals, and
  • resources dedicated to capacity building, sustainability and long term solutions.

June 28 – 2021 – The government’s Pathways document has none of these. In particular, the action plan had to include an implementation plan, and it does not.

Toronto Star – NWAC has initiated “Safe Passages” an online project to “collect and collate data related to the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.“  We simply have no reliable data to show us the scope of this tragedy that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has determined to be a genocide… The national inquiry, which has troubles obtaining details about individual cased from police forces across the country, demanded in its “Calls for Justice” that the government improves its data collection about these crimes.”

Sept. 2, 2021 – NWAC is demanding that the federal government explain its decision to appoint a non-indigenous man to head the secretariat established to address the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls… “there was no consultation with NWAC about the appointment of the MMIWG Secretariat Executive Director or what credentials are required for this position. Again, this is another example of the Government of Canada not respecting the opinions, views, or lived experiences of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people in this country.”

Ontario Native Women’s Association

June 3, 2021 – ONWA is the oldest and largest Indigenous women’s organization in Canada and yet was not invited to participate in the development of the National Action Plan in response to the MMIWG Inquiry Final Report Calls to Justice. The ONWA left the Native Women’s Association of Canada in 2016 so, in effect, the voices of Indigenous women in Ontario have been excluded from the MMIWG process.

The federal government’s Nation-to-Nation approach excludes Indigenous women who are not connected to a First Nation, Metis organization, or Inuit land claim organization. It reinforces patriarchal systems and values that continue to keep Indigenous women unsafe and vulnerable to violence. ONWA will advocate to not only be included in the implementation process but also advocate for:

  1. Addressing the immediate safety needs of Indigenous women.
  2. The reinstatement of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation for all Indigenous community members in Canada to have access to healing programs that meet their needs.
  3. Inclusion of Indigenous women’s voices

To view ONWA’s Reconciliation with Indigenous Women report go to:

https://www.onwa.ca/learning-resources-mmiwg

June 3, 2020 – We have recently completed our consultations to contribute to the National Action Plan on MMIWG. We heard consistent messages across Ontario. The time to invest in Indigenous Women is now – during the crisis and one year after the report was released.

We need stable and consistent funding devoted to addressing gender-based violence. Indigenous women have the solution to ending violence against them, and they need the funding to address it. Indigenous women need to lead the National Action Plan to ensure accountability to addressing the issue. We need to be at the table making decisions about or for Indigenous women. Indigenous women have a right to safety and a right for services that meets their needs that are designed, developed and implemented by them.

June 3, 2019 – ONWA board president Dawn Lavell-Harvard, “ONWA is committed to ending violence against Indigenous women, rooted in a long legacy of colonialism that has diminished the value of Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people in this country. The best way we can remember the value of those missing or murdered is to put an end to the conditions, attitudes, behaviours and systems that have caused this devastating situation.”

ONWA has seen how effective holistic strength-based services, combined with Indigenous ways of knowing and being are in providing wrap around services to Indigenous women and families which mirrors many of the recommendations within the Inquiry Final Report.

Oct. 4, 2020 – Release of “Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of MMIWG (2020)” with 13 key recommendations covering 28 systems that Indigenous women navigate throughout their lifetime and the forms of violence they face within them, including: healthcare, child welfare, education, food/income security, homelessness/housing, employment, social services, media/social media, etc. cblackst@fncaringsociety.com The report incorporates the traditional 13 Grandmother Moon Teachings. These strength-based recommendations and a wholistic approach foster independence, resilience, and environments in which Indigenous women and girls are respected, not dehumanized, and their safety is supported.

https://b4e22b9b-d826-44fb-9a3f-afec0456de56.filesusr.com/ugd/4eaa9c_be059fe0cd844671839aef58558d893d.pdf

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

June 2, 2020 – Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada called on Prime Minister Trudeau to immediately implement at least one of the 46 Inuit-specific recommendations contained in last year’s Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) – namely, funding for five new Inuit shelters in Inuit Nunangat and in Ottawa. On May 29, 2020 the federal government announced $85 million in federal funding for the construction and operation of 12 new shelters for Indigenous women and girls.  However, the new funding does not include any Inuit-specific shelters for women and children fleeing violence. The Pauktuutit are asking for $20M for 5 shelters in the four Inuit regions of Canada: Nunavut, Inuvialuit, Nunatsiavut, Nunavik as well as Ottawa which has the highest urban Inuit population in Canada.

Inuit women face violence at a rate 14 times greater than other women in Canada. Of the 51 communities in Inuit Nunangat, 37 of them (73%) do not have safe places for Inuit women and girls fleeing violence.

BC Assembly of First Nations

Oct. 4, 2021 – The BCAFN is disappointed that calls to implement the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice fully and swiftly have so far been ignored by the provincial and federal governments. It’s been over two years since the National Inquiry released the Calls for Justice, and neither Canada nor BC has an implementation plan in place to see the Calls for Justice implemented in partnership with Indigenous peoples. While many valuable initiatives were noted in the National Action Plan released on June 3, 2021, the Plan was notably missing concrete components required for implementation, and this has yet to be rectified.

Ceremony in Transitions: Culture-Based Approaches to Violence Prevention

March 1, 2021 – The Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres has released a comprehensive report demonstrating the connections between youth engagement in cultural rights-of-passage ceremonies and eliminating gender-based violence. Both on- and off-reserve, urban and rural, Indigenous communities are facing an epidemic of violence. By exploring the contemporary landscape of ceremonies, life-stage transitions, and other cultural practices with Indigenous youth in Ontario, findings revealed these practices as a key link in the reduction of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

Stemming from the root of colonial violence, Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are a more vulnerable population and are disproportionately more likely to experience violence in their lifetime. Indigenous women are six times more likely to be a victim of homicide than non-Indigenous women. Two-Spirit and trans people experience violence nearly five times more often than their peers.

The report, Ceremony and Transitions: Culture-based Approaches to Violence Prevention, is the result of a year-long study led by OFIFC researchers alongside four partner organizations engaged in research to further emphasize cultural practices.

Youth were identified as the key audience to engage with and the researchers explored:

  1. Reviving language, land-based activities and regalia-making at Ininew Friendship Centre in Cochrane
  2. Indigenous curriculum and diverse leadership at St. David Catholic Elementary School in Sudbury
  3. Ohero:kon (Under the Husk) youth mentorship program at Six Nations of the Grand River
  4. Reviewing the insufficiencies of the colonial justice system, and renewing Indigenous justice traditions and legal principles at N’Amerind Friendship Centre in London

Each community partner highlighted their own traditional Indigenous value systems and ways of living. In such environments, gender-based violence is unacceptable. Participants learned healthy ways of relating to one another and how to make healthy choices as foundational practices for dealing with colonial violence. Restoring a sense of identity and self-worth fostered community respect and belonging.

Known as “Everyday Good Living,” Indigenous cultural practices make it possible to live well on the land, achieve social cohesion within community, and engage in reciprocal and respectful relationships with all. Through ceremony at times of transition, youth are invited into these practices, becoming personally and collectively responsible for upholding them.

In order to support this work to end gender-based violence, four over-arching recommendations were identified:

  1. Restoration of Indigenous relationships
  2. Implementation of Indigenous teachings and cultural practices
  3. Long-term community-driven research
  4. Strengthening existing programs and initiatives to encourage integration and long-term impact

OFIFC shares these insights in the hope that they can benefit other Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous partners working toward ending gender-based violence.

Bill S-3 An Act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration)

Oct. 25, 2016 Bill S-3: “An Act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration)“.

Government wants to equalize treatment for women but only from 1951 when the registry was created. First Nations must have the ability to maintain and protect the legal/legislative status and existence of its present and future citizens Senate is insisting that the Liberal government remove all traces of sexist language that affects who qualifies to be legally regarded as status Indian

Nov. 2, 2017 – Advocates have joined forces with two Aboriginal senators – Lillian Dyck and Sandra Lovelace -Nicholas – in an awareness campaign that kicked off this week urging the Liberal government to change the bill known as S-3. Part of the outreach, supported by the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, includes the distribution of a letter to women’s organizations, academics and human rights groups to canvass support on the “full and final removal” of sex discrimination in the Indian Act.

The discrimination has existed since the Indian Act was first introduced in 1876, the letter adds. In June, the Senate unanimously passed a change to Bill S-3 dubbed the “6(1)(a) all the way” amendment, a change designed to ensure Indian women and their descendants have full Indian status like Indian men and not just to 1951 which is which is date the federal government prefers.

Dec. 12, 2017 – Bill S-3 receives Royal Assent

The Act comes into force in two stages: Phase 1 addresses the initial discrimination relating to an Indian woman losing her status if she marries a non-indigenous man (after 1951); Phase 2 deals with restoring status to this impacted before 1951 (the 1951 cut-off) and other discrimination inequities.

June 12, 2018 – Ms. Claudette Dumont-Smith has been appointed as the Minister’s Special Representative (MSR) to lead the consultations. The collaborative process will involve comprehensive consultation and joint work with First Nations, Indigenous groups, experts and impacted individuals on Indian registration, band membership, and First Nation citizenship reform to ensure that the dialogues account for and reflect the diversity of viewpoints of the participating individuals and communities.

Jan. 14, 2019 – The United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Canada continues to discriminate against First Nations women and their descendants by denying them the same entitlement to full s. 6(1)(a) status under the Indian Act as First Nations men and their descendants. This long-standing discrimination affects First Nations women’s entitlement to status, their right to transmit status, and their equality with First Nations men.

Jan. 14, 2019 – Native Women’s Association of Canada calls on the federal government to take immediate action. A more expansive approach is required to account for all discriminatory provisions, including the second-generation cut-off rule and the burden of proof to establish “Indian parentage”. This ruling is historic for many First Nations women and their descendants. Indigenous women deserve nothing less than full equality. Canada must act now. Canada must stop discriminating.

Jan. 22, 2019 – Open Letter from Union of BC Indian Chiefs to Carolyn Bennet (Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNA): “Recall the Collaborative Process survey and honour the UN ruling on the Indian Act’s discrimination against women”.

The CIRNA’s survey is fundamentally flawed and unrepresentative of the true collaboration that needs to take place between Indigenous Peoples and the Government of Canada. Designed by the government as a nominal and placatory symbol of “reconciliation” and “renewed relationships,” the survey is anything but collaborative. Now that the UN Committee has ruled that Canada must dismantle the discriminatory, sex-based hierarchy in the status registration provisions of the Indian Act, the survey is unnecessary and insulting to the Indigenous women who continue to have their right to equality breached.

http://nationtalk.ca/story/ubcic-open-letter-recall-the-collaborative-process-survey-and-honour-the-un-ruling-on-the-indian-acts-discrimination-against-women

June 21, 2019 – Passage and implementation of Bill S-3 will finally eliminate 143 years of gender-based discrimination in the Indian Act.

Aug. 15, 2019 – All provisions under Bill S-3 brought fully into force. The Bill removed the 1951 cut-off from the Indian Act registration provisions, ensuring that women and entitled descendants could register for status. Eligible individuals include descendants born prior to April 17, 1985 (or of a marriage before that date), of women who lost status or were removed from band lists because of their marriage to non-status men going back to 1869.

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

The Commission of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls delivered its final report entitled Reclaiming Power and Place, on June 3, 2019.

Building on the recommendations of the Commission’s Interim Report, presented in November 2017, the report provides over 230 recommendations to governments, police services and the Canadian public to help address levels of violence directed at Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.