Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Ending Violence
Indigenous women and girls are five times more likely to experience violence than any other population in Canada and this violence tends to result in more serious harm.
Through resolution and the direction of First Nations, the AFN has been mandated to address the critical situation of violence, disappearance, and murder of First Nations women and girls. This is an area of utmost priority and the AFN continues to take all avenues to pursue implementation of a National Action Plan to End Violence.
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Indigenous women make up 16% of all female homicide victims, and 11% of missing women, even though Indigenous people make up 4.3% of the population of Canada.
Violence against Indigenous women and girls is systemic and a national crisis that requires urgent, informed and collaborative action.
Indigenous women are three times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be victims of violence.
Current public data on MMIWG oversimplifies and underrepresents the scale of the issue, yet still demonstrates a complex and pervasive pattern of violence against Indigenous women and girls who are often targeted because of their gender and Indigenous identity.
The 2014 RCMP Operational Overview notes that police recorded 1,017 incidents of Aboriginal female homicides between 1980 and 2012 and 164 missing Aboriginal female investigations dating back to 1952. There have been a number of reports indicating numbers are significantly higher.
From 2001 to 2014 the average rate of homicides involving Indigenous female victims was four times higher than that of homicides involving non-Indigenous female victims.
Participants of the 2016 National Roundtable agreed to work with families and local partners to:
Continue with coordinated collaboration and action to prevent and address violence against Indigenous women and girls during the National Inquiry on MMIWG.
The importance of a national inquiry on MMIWG, with federal, provincial and territorial governments committing to participation and full cooperation in the process.
Build on the current Aboriginal Affairs Working Group to include the federal government as a co-Chair, with time dedicated to MMIWG issues including the ongoing coordination of efforts, monitoring progress, and identifying priorities for action, including appropriate F/P/T Ministers.
Supporting the development of Indigenous-led cultural competency, anti-racism and anti-sexism training programs for all public servants across governments, police and the justice system to include components focused on Indigenous history, impacts of policies, legislation and historical trauma.
Create and implement a set of common performance measures to assess progress toward addressing and reducing the socio-economic gaps experienced by Indigenous peoples.
Work collaboratively to improve communication and coordination between Indigenous families and: communities; victim services; policing; prosecutions; women’s groups; anti-violence groups; and shelter workers.
Implement the proposed Canada-wide prevention and awareness campaign focused on changing public perception and attitudes to help end violence against Indigenous women and girls.
Families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls met with participants of the 2016 National Roundtable at a separate gathering yesterday to discuss directly with provincial and territorial leaders their recommendations for achieving justice and ending violence.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne provided an update on the Canada-wide prevention and awareness campaign committed to at the 2015 National Roundtable.
Alberta Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan shared an update on work underway through the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group to develop a socio-economic action plan for Aboriginal women. The plan will present a comprehensive account of the challenges and barriers that adversely impact socio-economic outcomes for Aboriginal women. It will share best practices and identify collaborative means to improve socio-economic outcomes of Aboriginal women.
Federal Ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould, Dr. Carolyn Bennett and Patty Hajdu provided an update on the engagement process and planning for a National Inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Participants shared their support for a National Inquiry and views on how to best engage and reflect regional interests and perspectives.
All participants want to acknowledge the excellent work accomplished at the 2016 Justice Practitioners’ Summit, and will work to examine all of the recommendations contained within the report. The Summit gathered together nearly two hundred participants from across Canada representing experts and practitioners in three key sectors: victim services; policing; and prosecutions.
Roundtable participants expressed support for ongoing efforts among all governments and organizations engaged in ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.
2016 National Roundtable on MMIWG participants included families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, federal Ministers of Justice, Indigenous Affairs and Status of Women, provincial and territorial Ministers, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Dwight Dorey, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed, Métis National Council President Clément Chartier, Native Women’s Association of Canada President Dawn Lavell-Harvard, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada President Rebecca Kudloo, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation President Melanie Omeniho.
View the full list of participants to the 2016 National Roundtable on MMIWG here.
A Peoples’ Gathering will took place at Carleton University on February 27, to provide a public venue for discussions and recommendations for action to prevent and end violence against Indigenous women and girls.