Government of Canada supports gathering of families of missing and murdered indigenous women in Quebec

News Release

Gathering of families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls took place October 27-30

October 31, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – Department of Justice Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to providing meaningful support to the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, congratulate Quebec Native Women Inc., located in Kahnawake for organizing an important gathering for families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

This gathering took place October 27 to 30, 2016, and was meant to support culturally relevant victim services for the families, giving them an opportunity to share their experiences, grieve together, and pursue their paths to healing. Activities included a sharing circle, workshops, a sweat lodge, and the opportunity to meet therapists for individual counselling sessions.

As part of the ongoing efforts to support those affected by this national tragedy, Justice Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada approved funding for this organization to hold this event. This funding represents part of a series of upcoming investments that the Government is making to support and enhance culturally responsive victim services to the families, such as the services which will be offered by the new Family Information Liaison Units. These efforts are part of the Government's commitment to real reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples across Canada.


“As the Commission begins its work on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, we are committed to supporting the families and loved ones who have been touched by this national tragedy. We must, as a country, ensure that these families get the support that they need in an environment that is safe and culturally sensitive.”

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Femmes Autochtones du Québec have been leaders on not just calling for a national inquiry, but also reminding all Canadians on the need to listen to and support survivors of violence against Indigenous women and girls. Gathering like this one are another step forward to support survivors, families and loved ones of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Quebec in their healing journey.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

“Thanks to the support of the Department of Justice Canada, the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women were able to meet for the second year in a row, and get the support they need in a safe and anonymous location. This event also broke through the isolation that can occur when one loses a loved one, particularly in a remote region, by allowing people to foster relationships with peers who have gone through the same experience.”

Viviane Michel
President, Québec Native Women Inc.

Quick Facts

  • Department of Justice provided $27,768 and INAC $30,000 to support this event
  • Quebec Native Women Inc. was founded in 1974 and represents Indigenous women from First Nations as well as those living in urban areas in Quebec.
  • The organization supports Indigenous women in their efforts to better their living conditions through the promotion of non-violence, justice, health and equality and work for the recognition of equal rights for all Indigenous women.
  • Funding for the Family Information Liaison Units in the amount of $16.17 million was announced August 3, 2016

Associated Links


Valérie Gervais
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice

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