June 3, 2020
Canada Fails to Prioritize MMIWG: 1st Anniversary of the National Inquiry’s Final Report Demonstrates No Progress
((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – June 3, 2020) A year ago today, Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals looked forward with hopeful eyes as the Final Report of the National Inquiry in Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) was released alongside the Calls for Justice. The 231 imperative Calls for Justice are supposed to provide the framework for a National Action Plan to dismantle Canada’s colonial structures and systems of power that are responsible for staggering rates of violence, death, and suicide amongst Indigenous women and girls. Today marks the day the National Action Plan was to be released. However, rather than a pathway forward to transformative change, Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island were met with inaction, disregard, and the announcement from Canada that the plan will be delayed.
“The National Inquiry’s Report and Calls for Justice provide a roadmap to addressing the racism and colonial violence that have led to the genocide of our people and the crisis that is MMIWG; the COVID-19 pandemic is not an excuse to delay this,” stated Melissa Moses, UBCIC Women’s Representative. “The pandemic has instead exacerbated the pre-existing challenges and inequities Indigenous women and girls confront and impresses upon us the critical need for a National Action Plan as rates of domestic violence against Indigenous women and girls have alarmingly increased. In its decision to delay the plan, Canada also does a discredit to the thousands of survivors of violence, family members, and loved ones who came bravely forward to provide hours of testimony despite immense pain and trauma. We call upon the Government of Canada to respect their truths and to live up to its commitment to implement the Calls for Justice and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We urge them to provide a clear timeline for the launch of the National Action Plan, as well as a public pathways document outlining the steps that will be taken to arrive at the plan. Of course, this work must be Indigenous women led. There are no more excuses. We must be a priority- our lives are at stake.”
Melissa Moses, UBCIC Women’s Representative, 808-428-0178
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer, 250-320-7738
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca