New programs and investments launched to support families, survivors and Indigenous communities under Federal Pathway to Address MMIWG and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

August, 12, 2021 — Winnipeg, Manitoba. Treaty 1 territory and homeland of the Métis Nation — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Violence towards First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people is an ongoing national tragedy that all governments and Indigenous partners are working together to address.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined members of the National Family and Survivor’s Circle as well as Indigenous partners to highlight new investments from Budget 2021 to support the federal response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Government of Canada continues to take action through the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People by investing over $180 million as follows:

  • $108.8 million to create the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program to support Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples in gaining meaningful access to their cultures and identities through culturally relevant spaces, enhancing their safety and security;
  • $12.5 million through a new program to support the wellbeing of families and survivors of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people;
  • $36.3 million over five years and $8.6 million ongoing to enhance support for Indigenous Women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations; and,
  • $24.5 million to establish an Indigenous Data Advisory Group, to create a new program to fund Indigenous Data Projects, and establish a permanent MMIWG Secretariat to support federal coordination with partners.

Released on June 3, 2020, the Federal Pathway, which is the federal contribution to the National Action Plan, outlines the Government of Canada’s current and future concrete actions and work to help end systemic racism, sexism, ableism, and economic inequality that has perpetuated violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

Budget 2021 invested a historic $18 billion to narrow gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, support healthy, safe and prosperous Indigenous communities, and advance meaningful reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation. Informed by the work to develop the Federal Pathway, Budget 2021 also invested $2.2 billion, and $160.9 million ongoing, in funding directly dedicated to address root causes that contribute to the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Root causes such as poverty, insecure housing or homelessness, and barriers to education, employment, health care and cultural support have resulted in multigenerational and intergenerational trauma and marginalization. Colonial and patriarchal policies have displaced women from their traditional roles in communities and governance, and diminished their status in society, leaving them vulnerable to violence.

A key component moving forward is having safe spaces for the practice of cultural activities. That is why the Indigenous Cultural Spaces Program will support cultural spaces through new builds or renovation and retrofit of existing cultural spaces that are inclusive of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The program will also provide Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people with safe, no-barrier, permanent, and meaningful access to their cultures and languages in order to restore, reclaim and revitalize their cultures and identities.

The Government of Canada remains committed to ending gender-based violence and walking the path towards reconciliation in partnership with Indigenous Peoples across Canada.

Quotes

“The funding announced today is a critical next-step as we work in partnership to implement the Government of Canada’s Federal Pathway and end the national tragedy of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Canada now has the Plan and the resources to work with Indigenous Peoples and communities to keep their women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people safe wherever they live.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Today’s announcement is an important next step in shifting the decision making to the families and communities that have been doing the work to stop the on-going race and gender-based violence that has been experienced by our communities. This initiative aims to respect our Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing and finally acknowledges that solutions should come at the community level.”

Diane Redsky
Executive Director, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata

“We welcome today’s commitment from the federal government and look forward to continuing to ensure the lived experience and expertise of families, survivors, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are centred in these initiatives. These steps are an opportunity for real action.”

Hilda Anderson-Pyrz
Co-Chair, National Family and Survivors Circle

“These actions are long overdue, but today’s announcement brings a sense of hope that our voices have been heard. Families and survivors must be centred in all government decision-making, and be afforded the space to stand in our power and continue to tell our truths to end the genocide and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.”

Kim McPherson
First Nations Family Member

“If we are to deal with the root causes of violence, we must stop the cycle of discrimination and the cycles of physical and sexual abuse. To do that, we need the full commitment of governments and communities to work together to implement Inuit-led solutions. Today’s funding announcement is a step towards reconciliation and addressing the gaping inequalities and systemic discrimination faced by Inuit women.”

Rebecca Kudloo, President
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

“We applaud today’s announcements of over $180 million dollars to support programs and initiatives to end Indigenous gender-based violence. Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak believes the legacy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and girls needs to end. This funding signals a start to a suite of supports, programs, and significant policy transformations required to eliminate this tragedy”.

President Melanie Omeniho
Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak/Women of the Metis Nation

“The Government of Canada’s announcement to provide funding support for a network of 2SLGBTQQIA+ specific organizations reflects that we have been seen and heard. The funding will ensure we will be able to support specific community and cultural development to address racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and reduce violence.”

Sylvia Maracle, Chair
2SLGBTQQIA+ Committee

“We would like to acknowledge the voices of families, survivors and the heart work of Indigenous communities who are the primary leaders in keeping the 231 calls for justice flowing like our waters. The federal pathway is a key component to taking action on ensuring the safety of our Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit.”

Jeannie Whitebird
MB Coalition (MM)IWG2S+

“Our nation’s Ḿṇúyaqs Council (Woman’s Council) recently signed on to the Heiltsuk Declaration of Title and Rights, reclaiming the role of women in our Hailzaqv governance, at a ceremony held in our Gvakva’aus Hailzagv, or House of the Heiltsuk. Reclamation, reconciliation and self-determination all take place in this cultural space, which is critical to the well-being of our women and girls, as it restores our cultural identity and re-establishes the true governance of our society.”

Marilyn Slett
Elected Chief of the Heiltsuk Nation

Quick facts

  • The Federal Pathway is a key part of the larger 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan launched on June 3, 2021.
  • The National Action Plan was co-developed by:
    • the National Family and Survivor Circle
    • representatives of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Indigenous grass roots organizations
    • Indigenous, provincial and territorial governments
    • Indigenous urban and 2SLGBTQQIA+ leaders
  • The Federal Pathway will continue to evolve over time remaining evergreen and accountable for results to families, victims and partners across Canada.

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Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Ani Dergalstanian
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

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