PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUNE 3, 3023
WINNIPEG – On the second anniversary of the release of the 2021 National Action Plan on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People (NAP), the National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC) continues its call for collaboration amongst those with responsibility to implement the 231 Calls for Justice of the 2019 National Inquiry into MMIWG Final Report. A siloed approach to confronting and disrupting the combination of systems and actions that have worked to maintain colonial violence and genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ will not achieve the “transformed Canada” envisioned in the NAP.
This past year, the NFSC was pleased to see movement by the federal government on Call for Justice 1.7 (the establishment of a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson and a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal) and Call for Justice 1.10 (to create an independent mechanism to report on the implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice). The NFSC acknowledged funding commitments in the Federal Budget 2023, specific to the Circle, and its May 2023 announcement of ongoing supports to families of MMIWG2S+ and victims and survivors of gender- and race-based violence. This most recent announcement is an important step towards a sustainable funding approach which must be replicated by all levels of government, agencies, institutions, and industry. The NFSC also welcomed the first-ever Roundtable of Indigenous Leaders and Representatives and Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers on MMIWG2S+.
The NFSC recognizes the May 2023 petition by Indigenous women grassroots activists and allies for Canada to declare MMIWG2S+ as a Canada-wide emergency. Following this petition, Member of Parliament Leah Gazan presented a motion in the House of Commons declaring the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls a Canada-wide emergency. This motion received unanimous consent. Much more work remains. Lives are at stake. Action and resources are needed now.
Collaboration at government- and societal-levels can help speed up progress on implementation of all the Calls for Justice and the NAP. This collaborative approach is critical to ensure impact is felt on the ground by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, families of MMIWG2S+, and survivors of gender- and race-based violence. All partners to the NAP must uphold the ‘family- and survivors-at the centre’ approach taken in the development of the NAP and now in its implementation.
Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, NFSC Chair states, “The lived experience, expertise, and autonomy of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people as individual rights-holders regardless of where they live must be centred and elevated to the highest levels. They must be recognized and treated as full and respected partners in all collaborative actions for their safety and security in realizing a transformed Canada.”
We must all work together in a collaborative way in order for rights of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people to be recognized and promoted. With concrete action and accountability mechanisms in place, systemic and structural failures will be addressed. Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA will feel and be safe and secure – physically, economically, and socially – and their Power and Place will be Reclaimed. This will be a transformed Canada.
We understand that this subject matter is difficult for many people in our community. If you require immediate support, please contact the national, independent toll free 24/7 support line at 1-844-413-6649 to speak to a counsellor. The service is available in English, French, Cree, Anishnaabemowin (Ojibway), and Inuktitut.
About the National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC)
The NFSC comprises First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women from diverse backgrounds who use their lived expertise to advocate for centring the voices of families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, survivors of gender-based violence, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and made significant contributions to the 2021 National Action Plan.
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