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For immediate release
May 27, 2020
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is issuing this response to an announcement made yesterday, May 26, 2020, in which Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett stated that a national action plan in response to the Final Report into the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and the 231 Calls For Justice will be delayed. The national action plan was to be released on June 3, 2020.
“We are days away from the one-year anniversary of the release of the final report from the National Inquiry into MMIWG. Indigenous women and girls as well as Two Spirit and gender-diverse people continue to die by homicide and are experiencing violence at alarming rates,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “Immediate action and tangible outcomes are imperative. Minister Bennett has said the reason for not having the plan is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the pandemic has highlighted the urgency to develop a national action plan to end the genocide.”
Nearly one year ago, on June 3, 2019, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that the federal government would do a thorough review of this report and would develop and implement a national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people, working with Indigenous partners to determine next steps. He said, “Our government will turn the Inquiry’s Calls for Justice into real, meaningful, Indigenous-led action.”
“Calls for Justice are legal imperatives—they are not optional. The Calls for Justice arise from international and domestic human and Indigenous rights laws, including the Charter, the Constitution, and the honour of the Crown,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “The template for a national action plan is in the Calls for Justice. What we’re asking for now is a clear and transparent timeline and process, led by Indigenous people.”
“The stories of their loved ones are sacred and the lived experiences of survivors and Two Spirit and gender-diverse people have helped to educate the public and governments on what needs to be done to end this pandemic of violence,” said Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, Manager of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Liaison Unit at MKO. “Families, survivors, and Two Spirit/gender-diverse people must remain at the forefront of the process in the development of a national action plan.”
MKO continues to be on the front lines supporting impacted families, survivors, and communities through the MMIWG Liaison Unit.
For more information:
Melanie Ferris, Communications Officer
Email: [email protected]