Organizations representing Inuit women in Canada said they were disappointed with the government’s announcement this week that they were delaying plans for action to leave Canada. National Question Missing and Killed Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).
“A year after the final report on MMIWG Inquiry, it was very disappointing to know that the National Action Plan on MMIWG will not be ready in June,” said Rebecca Kudloo, President of the Women of Canada’s Pauktuutit Inuit, in a news release on Thursday.
“The families of the victims participated in the Investigation in good faith and with extreme pain. They need to know that their testimony is heard and valued and that it has caused positive change. “
This week, Canadian Crown Customary Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett told CBC News, an English-language service from Canadian public broadcasters, that more work needs to be done on the strategy, and that even though virtual meetings and consultations are taking place, COVID-19 has delayed government time and that they can no longer provide a definite date for the release of an action plan.
But Kudloo said this pandemic places women even more at risk of violence and that action plans are urgently needed.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed Inuit women and girls in Inuit Nunangat (Inuit’s homeland in Canada) and in urban centers at even greater risk of violence and exploitation. It is very important that the National Action Plan is submitted this year. “
Canada National Question Missing and Killed Indigenous Women and Girls (MMWIG) was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015 after calls from many indigenous leaders, groups and organizations to examine the high level of violence against indigenous women in Canada.
Indigenous women make up 4 percent of Canada’s female population, however 16 percent of all women killed in Canada between 1980 and 2012 were Indigenous, said the government.
The mandate of the investigation is to examine and report on the systemic causes of violence against indigenous women and girls and how the investigation was carried out by the authorities. The investigation also examined violence against 2SLGBTQQIA (community of two spirits, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, strange, questioning, intersex, and asexual).
The investigation was a massive effort, covering every region of the country.
A national investigation was held 15 public community hearings, and visiting each of the northern regions of Canada: Yukon in the northwest, the Northwest Region, and the eastern Canadian Arctic Nunavut region. The MMWIG Commissioner heard 1484 testimonies from families and survivors during this investigation period. Separate hearings were also held to hear testimonies from people working in the institution and from elders, academics, frontline workers and specialists.
When the report was released on June 3, 2019 there were 46 specific Inuit recommendations, referred to as ‘calls for justice,’ which covered everything from the need for better mental health services in the Arctic to the need for immediate action on housing. crisis.
The action plan to implement the recommendation is said to be released June 3, on the one-year anniversary of the report.
The Native Women Association of Canada (NWAC) called the delay terrible
The Native Canadian Women’s Association (NWAC) also condemned this week’s decision.
“The Native Canadian Women’s Association (NWAC) is shocked to learn that the federal government has no time limit to release a National Action Plan to address ongoing violence against Indigenous women,” they said in a news release on Wednesday.
“After a year there was almost no consultation with important people – Canadian Indigenous women – the Minister chose to announce through the news media that no action plan would be submitted in June and no time to produce such documents.”
NWAC President Lorraine Whitman said the pandemic could not be used as an excuse.
“Instead of national action plans, Indigenous women have been given less action plans,” Whitman said. “Indigenous women are still dying and disappearing in Canada, families are still left in the dark about losing their loved ones. The time to act is now, not years or even months from now. “
“We hope that Native Canadian women and girls will not be left behind.”
Write to Eilís Quinn at [email protected]
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: Swedish-speaking Finnish women launch their own #metoo campaign, Yle News
United States of America: Alaska considers missing data about Indigenous women killed, Alaska Public Media
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