The Government of Canada hosts the Fifth Convening of the Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls
September 8, 2023 — Ottawa, Ontario, Traditional Unceded Algonquin Territory — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Indigenous women, young women and girls, and Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer and Intersex + (2SLGBTQI+) people have the right to be safe, no matter where they live, as well as the right to every opportunity to take part in economic, social, and cultural life. The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States share a deep commitment to addressing harmful behaviours and actions experienced by Indigenous women, young women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people across North America, such as marginalization, exclusion, discrimination, violence, and exploitation, among others.
On September 6 and 7, 2023, the Government of Canada chaired the Fifth Convening of the Trilateral Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls in collaboration with Indigenous leaders from Canada, the United States, and Mexico, global subject-matter experts, and officials from the governments of Mexico and the United States. Discussions at this year’s convening focused on human trafficking and access to justice.
At the centre of this international dialogue are the voices of Indigenous women, young women, girls, 2SLGBTQI+ people, survivors, and families. Their collective knowledge and lived experiences are instrumental in the development of supports, programs, and services that have a real and positive impact on the lives of Indigenous Peoples across North America.
Government officials from Canada, Mexico, and the United States also had the opportunity to:
- exchange information about policies, programs, and promising practices to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, such as Mexico’s Indigenous Women Houses program;
- share recent actions taken to address human trafficking and exploitation within communities and across borders, such as Canada’s Human Trafficking Hotline and the United States’ National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking.
As a result of the meeting, officials from the three countries agreed to continue to protect and uphold the rights of Indigenous women, learn from and implement Indigenous-led approaches, provide accessible and culturally safe services, and support the preservation of Indigenous cultures and languages. Collectively, these commitments will help address the root causes of violence impacting Indigenous women, young women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people in North America.
The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States also recognized that further and ongoing collaboration is needed to advance key priorities and actions, and are committed to this critical work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
“Protecting, supporting, and empowering Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people require a comprehensive and sustainable approach across all levels of governments throughout North America, with the voices of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people at the centre of these efforts. The lived experiences, advice and solutions that were shared over the past two days will help guide the implementation of concrete actions to address the root causes of systemic racism and gender-based violence.”
The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, Head of Canadian Delegation
“The construction of public policies must be horizontal and reflect the voices of indigenous women and girls, considering their opinions and their presence so that the accompaniment we carry out as governments is effective, humanistic, and culturally relevant. Indigenous women and girls have the right to live with equality and without discrimination.”
Claudia Olivia Morales Reza
President of the National Council to Prevent Discrimination, Head of Mexican Delegation
“The legacy of violence in Indigenous communities goes back hundreds of years, yet we continue to see its effects within our communities in the form of intergenerational trauma and violence that falls disproportionately on Indigenous women and girls and Two-Spirit people. The Biden-Harris administration, in collaboration with our colleagues in Canada and Mexico, is putting the full weight of the federal government into pursuing justice for missing or murdered Indigenous peoples so that current and future generations of Indigenous communities can enjoy a future free from the violence that has plagued our countries for too long.”
The Honourable Deb Haaland
Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, Head of U.S. Delegation
In 2016, the Governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States formed the Trilateral Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls.
Members of the Trilateral Working Group host an annual meeting that brings together Indigenous leaders and government officials from across North America to collaborate and align supports to address violence against Indigenous women, young women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people.
Each year, one of the three countries assumes the role of chairing the Trilateral Working Group and convenes the annual meeting. Canada chaired last in 2017.
The work of the Trilateral Working Group aligns with the Government of Canada’s broader efforts to end the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada. This includes the key priorities outlined in the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People.
For more information, media may contact:
CIRNAC Media Relations:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico
+ 52 5517982068
U.S. Department of the Interior Press Team:
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