June 24, 2022
The National Family and Survivors Circle welcomes the release of “Not Enough: All Words and No Action on MMIWG”, the interim report of the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.
Since the release of the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan, the NFSC has called for immediate action, emphasizing increased accountability by all governments, including Indigenous government, agencies, organizations, institutions, industries, and Canadians to implement the National Action Plan and the 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry’s Final Report.
The Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples echoes the deep disappointment we have felt about this inaction, noting that delays to implement the Calls for Justice have deadly consequences:
“The committee acknowledges the concerns of witnesses about the slow pace of progress, and believes that there could be more targeted investments clearly related to existing action plans and the critical priorities identified by families and survivors.”
These critical priorities include the fulfillment of Call for Justice 1.7, which demands the establishment of a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson and a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal. Families and survivors have identified this as an immediate need to hold all governments accountable and accurately track progress on the implementation of the National Action Plan.
As the report states, “The committee is concerned that families and survivors, who should be at the heart of the implementation of the Calls for Justice, may be unable to find information about progress.”
To this end, we agree with the committee’s recommendation that “Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada provide quarterly progress reports starting in October 2022 on the federal government’s implementation of the Calls for Justice to the committee, post them publicly on its website and ensure they are distributed to families and survivors of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
This recommendation echoes Call for Justice 1.10, which calls upon the federal government to create an independent mechanism to report annually to Parliament on the implementation of the Calls for Justice.
Ultimately, the NFSC welcomes the committee’s position that “the federal government plays an essential role in implementing the Calls for Justice”, including Call 1.7 and 1.10, and its recommendation that this work “be guided by the families and survivors of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.”
As Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, NFSC Chair, states, “The NFSC reiterates the urgent need for concrete actions and accountability that improve the lived realities of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people — only then can safety, security, and justice for families, survivors, and Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people be achieved.”
We know this can be a difficult topic. For immediate mental and emotional wellness support, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ toll-free support phone line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-844-413-6649. The service is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
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.
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