PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2022

WINNIPEG – The National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC) is deeply troubled by the number of recent media stories across Canada bringing attention to the prevalence of gender-based violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

These media stories include the March 16, 2022 Manitoulin Expositor news article, “Police chief (of Wikwemikong Tribal Police Services) trial begins this week”; the March 18, 2022 CBC news article, “Prominent Manitoba grand chief suspended following sexual assault allegation by colleague”; and most recently, the March 21, 2022 CBC news article, “Former traditional healer at Wabano Center charged with sexual assault”.

The NFSC stands in solidarity with the brave and courageous Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Truthtellers who have experienced and are speaking out against all forms of gender-based violence. We acknowledge the strength it takes to publicly disclose your truth and to challenge patriarchal and misogynistic systems that allow individuals to perpetuate gender based violence. The NFSC expresses its support for the many who suffer in silence and need to be heard.

The NFSC calls on all governments, organizations, agencies, and institutions to collectively take action, speak out, and stand together against all forms of gender-based violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people regardless of residency. Immediate actions must include:

  • independent mechanisms for disclosures
  • establishing and funding victim-centred and self-determined crisis and healing supports
  • safe spaces for programs and services
  • creating and implementing rights-based policies for prevention and safety
  • all core and project funding agreements must demonstrate prevention and protection against gender-based violence in the terms and conditions

All leaders of governments, organizations, agencies and institutions must be governed by a Code of Conduct for the prevention of all forms of gender-based violence that is inclusive of mechanisms for reporting, remedies, and accountability.

Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, NFSC Chair, states, “Immediate actions and political will are fundamental to creating transformative change and addressing all forms of gender-based violence through the implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The 231 Calls for Justice are legal imperatives.”

She further states, “In moving forward, all governments, agencies, and institutions must work with MMIWG families, survivors of gender-based violence, Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples, and grandmothers to identify solutions and prevent gender-based violence.”

-30-

About the NFSC: The National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC) was established by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs in response to the National Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice and Principles for Change. The group is composed of Indigenous women of diverse backgrounds, strengths, and capabilities who use their lived expertise to advocate for the engagement of families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, survivors of gender- and race-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in the development and implementation of a National Action Plan to end the genocide.

Please see sources referenced:
1. 231 Calls of Justice
2. Prominent Manitoba grand chief suspended following sexual assault allegation by colleague – CBC News
3. Police chief trial begins this week – The Manitoulin Expositor
4. Former traditional healer at Wabano Centre charged with sexual assault – CBC News

For more information or to schedule interviews, contact: info@familysurvivorscircle.ca

Click here to download this press release as a PDF.