Backgrounder - National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Eliminating violence against Indigenous women and girls is an urgent issue in Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing the systemic causes of violence and increasing the safety of Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people.
In 2016, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was launched as a key government initiative to end the disproportionally high levels of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls. The Inquiry was also the Government of Canada’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #41.
The National Inquiry conducted in-depth study and analysis between September 2016 to December 2018 on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, including LGBTQ and Two Spirit people, collecting information from community and institutional hearings; past and current research; and forensic analysis of police records. The Inquiry also gathered evidence from over 1,400 witnesses, including survivors of violence, the families of victims, and subject-matter experts and Knowledge Keepers.
On November 1, 2017, the National Inquiry issued its Interim Report, and the Government of Canada has taken a family-first approach to addressing the recommendations contained therein, recognizing the significant strength and courage of the family members of murdered or missing Indigenous women and girls that contributed to the Inquiry. This included an allocation of $50 million in funding to:
- provide health and support services to survivors and families of missing and murdered women and girls, including LGBTQ and Two Spirit people;
- support a national oversight body at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
- support a review of police policies and practices; and,
- commemorate the lives and legacies of Indigenous women and girls.
The Path Forward
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls presented its Final Report to families, survivors, Indigenous leaders, as well as federal, provincial and territorial governments at a televised closing ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec, on June 3, 2019. At this event, the Prime Minister stressed the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing this issue.
The Government of Canada welcomes the release of the Final Report and is committed to ending the ongoing national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people, and to help prevent and eliminate violence against them in future generations. It is an integral part of the Government’s commitment to reconciliation.
The Inquiry’s Final Report is far-reaching and deals with many underlying systemic issues. Its recommendations, directed towards multiple levels of government and various stakeholders, will help identify the Government of Canada’s next steps in preventing the systemic violence that has resulted in this national tragedy.
The recommendations require careful consideration and examination in order for the Government of Canada to establish a holistic and effective path forward that will empower Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people. As next steps, the Government of Canada will be reviewing and bring forward a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund
The National Inquiry reminds us that commemoration is an essential part of truth gathering, healing, and reconciliation.
The Government of Canada created the Commemoration Fund to address recommendations and calls for early action from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls interim report. The Fund will invest over $13 million over two years to help honour the lives and legacies of missing Indigenous women and girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people.
In February 2019, Minister Monsef issued a Call for Proposals through the Department for Women and Gender Equality’s Women’s Program, soliciting Indigenous governments and organizations working with families, survivors, and communities to develop and implement commemoration initiatives for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people. The Department for Women and Gender Equality has a longstanding relationship with Indigenous women’s organizations, particularly addressing the issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls, both through funding opportunities and ongoing dialogue.
After the call closed on March 28, 2019, the Department engaged Indigenous external review committees, composed of affected individuals, including family members, community representatives, Indigenous artists and grassroots advocates, to review and recommend proposals for funding. Over 100 projects have been approved.
Commemoration includes honouring, educating, remembering, memorializing and paying tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people, and acknowledging the broad and systemic causes of this violence. It is an important part of the healing journey for families and survivors, public education and awareness, and bringing communities together as part of the reconciliation process. Examples include (but are not limited to):
- Holding events that contribute to healing by acknowledging those who were murdered or went missing, and bringing people together to share and support one another.
- Creating items that leave a legacy or educate people about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people.
- Coordinating and supporting commemoration initiatives.
- Developing and implementing region-wide or nation-wide commemoration initiatives.
Today’s announcement highlighted over 100 groups receiving financial support for commemorative projects under the Commemoration Fund:
- Abegweit First Nation Mi'kmaq Wellness Centre
- Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary
- Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan
- Aboriginal Legal Services
- Aboriginal Shelters of Ontario
- Aboriginal Women’s Association of Prince Edward Island Inc.
- Aboriginal Women's Organizing Network Society
- Aimayunga Women's Shelter
- Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council
- All Nations Hope Network Inc.
- Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Secretariat Inc.
- Atikameksheng Anishnawbek
- Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services Inc.
- Bear Standing Tall & Associates
- Big Cove First Nation Wellness Committee Inc.
- Blood Tribe Department of Health Inc.
- Brandon Friendship Centre Inc.
- Carcross/Tagish First Nation
- Carrier Sekani Family Services Society
- Central Urban Métis Federation Inc.
- Conayt Friendship Society
- Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
- Conseil Atikamekw de Manawan
- Conseil de la Nation Anishnabe de Lac Simon
- Conseil de la Première Nation Abitibiwinni
- Creating Hope Society of Alberta
- Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association
- Curve Lake First Nation
- Driftpile Cree Nation
- Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society
- Eagle Vision Inc.
- Ebb and Flow First Nation
- Eskasoni Band Council
- Federation of Saskatchewan Indians Inc.
- Femmes Autochtones du Québec Inc.
- File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council
- Fort Nelson First Nation
- Fort William First Nation
- Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert
- Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services
- Grande Prairie Friendship Centre
- Ikayuqtiit Inc.
- Indian Residential School Program
- Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society
- Indigenous Women's Association of the Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Territories Inc.
- Indigenous Women's Sharing Society
- Kermode Friendship Society
- Kokums and Mochums Against Drugs and Alcohol Inc.
- Ktunaxa Nation Theatre Dance Ttoupe Society
- La Maison Communautaire Missinak
- La Ronge Native Women’s Council Inc.
- Labrador Friendship Centre
- Legacy of Hope Foundation
- Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak/Women of the Métis Nation
- Les Filles de Madelaine Secretariat Inc.
- Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation
- Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.
- Manitoba Moon Voices Inc.
- Mannawanis Native Friendship Centre Society
- M’Chigeeng First Nation
- Métis Central Western Region 2 Council. Inc.
- Miawpukek First Nation
- Minwaashin Lodge – Indigenous Women’s Support Centre
- Missanabie Cree First Nation
- Morning Sky Health and Wellness Society
- Mushuau Innu First Nation Band Council
- Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre
- Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
- Native Women’s Association of the NWT
- Newfoundland Aboriginal Women's Network
- Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg
- Nokiiwin Tribal Council Inc.
- North Peace Tribal Council
- N’Swakamok Friendship Centre
- Nunatsiavut Government
- Onion Lake Cree Nation MMIWG
- Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
- Ontario Native Women’s Association
- Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
- Prince Albert Grand Council
- Prince George Red Dress Society
- Puakuteu comité de femmes de Mashteuiatsh
- Qaggiavuut! Nunavut Performing Arts Society
- Qalipu First Nation
- Reconciliation Regina Inc.
- Rolling River
- Sacred Fire Productions
- Sagkeeng First Nation
- Samson Cree Nation
- Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan Inc.
- Skeetchestn Indian Band
- Southeast Resource Development Council Corp.
- Southern Chiefs Organization Inc.
- Stó:lō Nation Society
- Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour
- Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Society
- Touchwood Area Tribal Council
- Tungasugit Inc.
- Union of Ontario Indians
- Victoria Native Friendship Centre
- Whitefish River First Nation
- Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve
- Women of The First Light
- Yukon Aboriginal Women's Council
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