Statement – Renewed and ongoing supports for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people

Press Release

From: Department of Justice Canada

February 23, 2023

Support line for those affected by missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people:

There is a national, toll-free 24/7 crisis call line providing mental health support for anyone who requires emotional assistance related to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. For assistance, call 1-844-413-6649. Supports are also available through the MMIWG2S+ health and cultural support services. Support could include professional counselling with a focus on healing, emotional supports such as listening and referrals to additional services, and culturally specific help centred around traditional healing methods and Elder services.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued the following statement:

“Violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Plus (2SLGBTQI+) people in Canada is an ongoing national tragedy that needs to end. Ensuring safety and increasing access to culturally grounded, community-led victim supports for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls  and 2SLGBTQI+ people (MMIWG2S+) is a priority for the Government of Canada, along with ensuring that community-based organizations have the tools they need to deliver responsive services for families of MMIWG2S+.

“Today, I am proud to confirm our commitment to renew and provide ongoing support for Family Information Liaison Units (FILUs), so they can continue to deliver critical services to families of MMIWG2S+ across the country. With this support, FILUs will become a permanent resource for Indigenous families in search of information on their missing or murdered loved ones.

“Having up-to-date and accurate information about a missed or murdered loved one plays a significant role in a family member’s healing journey. We know there continues to be systemic, structural and geographic barriers for family members as they seek the information they need. FILUs work with families of MMIWG2S+ to overcome those barriers and ensure that they have all the available information they are seeking from various justice agencies and other sectors, as well as access to all other available supports they may require. Their work is critical to those families in need of answers, support, and healing.

“Since their establishment in 2016, FILUs helped thousands of family members across the country. We know the need for answers has not ended, and we are committed to supporting the continued delivery of their critical supports and services for as long as they are needed.”

Quick Facts

  • FILUs are available in every province and territory, and are delivered through victim services and Indigenous community organizations. They work directly with families in a culturally grounded and trauma-informed manner to gather the information they seek from government agencies and address outstanding questions about the loss of their loved ones.
  • The 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan was developed in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous Peoples, survivors, families, and Indigenous women’s organizations in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Federal Pathway is Canada’s contribution to the National Action Plan. Continued support and funding for FILUs was a priority identified in the National Action Plan.
  • In the Federal Pathway, the Government of Canada committed to seeking new opportunities to increase collaboration with Indigenous partners and organizations and with provincial and territorial partners to improve availability and access to Indigenous-led, culturally safe, and trauma-informed victim services and supports. Renewed and ongoing support for FILUs responds to this commitment.
  • On January 10, 2023, Indigenous leaders and partners and federal, provincial and territorial ministers met at a national roundtable on missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. At the roundtable, federal, provincial and territorial ministers and government representatives had an opportunity to highlight their recent actions to advance work to prevent and end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people. They also committed to pursue future opportunities to collaborate with Indigenous leaders, provincial and territorial governments and other partners to work towards implementing the identified key priorities to support Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQI+ people, survivors, families and their communities. The value and importance of supports provided by FILUs was raised at this national roundtable.

Associated Links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Diana Ebadi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
343-574-3446
Diana.Ebadi@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca

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