In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the decades long advocacy from families and survivors, the Government of Canada launched an independent national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
This work began in 2015 with a pre-inquiry across the country, and officially launched the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2016. In 2019, the national inquiry ended with the release of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
This work has brought together Indigenous leaders, families and survivors, communities, knowledge keepers, experts and institutions from across the country to study and discuss the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional, systemic and historical causes, policies and practices for this ongoing violence.
To honour all those involved in the inquiry process, in June 2021, the next steps were announced with the release of the 2021 National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People.
The federal components of the national action plan build on the concrete measures in place to guide active solutions to end the violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. With the integral involvement of the family and survivors, the national action plan is built with a focus on the principle “nothing about us, without us.” This upholds and prioritizes the voices and truths of Indigenous Peoples and places them at the center of co-development
The 2021 Action Plan honours grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, cousins, friends and Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual Plus (2SLGBTQQIA+) people who have gone missing or been murdered, as well as the survivors of gender- and race-based violence and the families whose lives have been altered forever.
Despite only making up 4 percent of the Canadian population, Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people continue to experience higher rates of violence, representing 28 percent of homicides perpetrated against women in 2019 and are 12 times more likely to be murdered or missing than non-Indigenous women in Canada.
This National Action Plan is not meant to be frozen in time- it is evergreen, recognizing the urgency for immediate action, but also the importance of continuing to cultivate transformative change over time.
Indigenous issues are everyone’s issues. As a government, and as Canadians, we must vow to do more, and do better. Let us all commit to a journey of reconciliation and let us support whatever efforts are needed to protect and support Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
For more information on the National Action Plan, please visit: https://bit.ly/3gaX2G3
The national action plan is:
- an approach that includes all levels of Canadian governments, Indigenous governments and organizations
- rooted in the unique needs, experiences and cultural contexts of First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples
- considerate of the needs of diverse regions
- respectful of the experience and expertise of family members and survivors
- meaningful because it measures real results
Together, we will move forward by committing to:
- Acknowledge the leadership of Indigenous families, survivors, women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people at decision-making tables on issues that impact them, their families and communities;
- Respect and uphold the inherent and human rights of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in a dignified way;
- Work toward ending all forms of violence, particularly all forms of systemic racism, sexism, ableism and gender-based violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people; and,
- Improve socio-economic conditions to provide an opportunity for a good life and a safe, stable environment for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, no matter where they live.