Earlier this week, Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered the 2021 Federal Budget. The 2021 Budget earmarked $2.2 billion towards a National Action Plan, which must be aimed at ending the continuing race- and gender-based violence and ongoing genocide experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people based on the 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC) recognizes the significance of this commitment. The NFSC is also hopeful about the direct investment of $12.5 million over five years and $2.5 million ongoing to support the well-being of families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, survivors of gender- and race-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people through project-based programming. The NFSC is ready to work with the Government of Canada to ensure that these funds and services get to where they are needed with the families and survivors.
These commitments present a significant opportunity. The families, survivors, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people who brought their experiences to light and shared their truth through the National Inquiry made this moment possible. Now, it is critical their expertise is centred in, and help guide, the important next steps. These commitments require ongoing sustainable funding.
The NFSC will follow the progress of Budget 2021 and the release of the National Action Plan, continuing to advocate for the families and survivors to guide the process at every opportunity. The National Action Plan must be rooted in truth-telling which honours the memory of all missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
With every day that passes, the need for urgent action rises. The disproportionate violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people is continuing, and has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome the commitments of Budget 2021 as a first step toward meeting the obligations of all governments to end the genocide.
To view Budget 2021, please click here. The section specifically regarding families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, survivors of gender- and race-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people is Chapter 8.3.