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For immediate release
April 1, 2021
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is pleased to announce it is receiving financial support from the Province of Manitoba to work towards ending all forms of gender-based violence. MKO’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Liaison Unit is one of the successful recipients to receive funding for a project called “Indigenous Men and Boys are Part of the Solution to Building Healthy and Safe Communities Project.”
The vision of this project is to develop and implement land-based cultural programming as prevention and intervention of male-perpetrated domestic violence against First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Northern Manitoba First Nations. The project will develop tools for men and boys to help restore their natural inclination for respect, harmony, dignity, and healthy relationships and come to truly understand the impacts of violence and their actions on themselves, their victims and victim’s families, and the broader community. This initiative will span a duration of three years with lasting impacts for future generations.
“We need to build new ways and initiatives that deal with and confront gender-based violence, while also empowering women, girls, and 2SlGBTQQIA+ people,” shared Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “It is important that we show leadership by engaging men and boys to take an active part in preventing and eliminating gender-based violence.”
Due to the effectiveness of the MKO’s MMIWG Liaison Unit in working with families and survivors of gender-based violence throughout Manitoba, MKO is well equipped to carry out this work. Created in 2017, the MKO MMIWG Unit quickly grew from one to several staff. The Unit is the only one of its kind in the region and has become the go-to resource for many impacted families, survivors of gender-based violence, organizations, and communities. A large component of the Unit’s work is focused on healing, reclaiming the spirit, empowerment, prevention, and awareness of all forms of gender-based violence.
This new project relates to the National Inquiry’s Final Report into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 231 Calls for Justice, specifically Call for Justice 7.3: “We call upon all governments and health service providers to support Indigenous-led prevention initiatives in the areas of health and community awareness, including, but not limited to programming for Indigenous men and boys.”
This program is also related to Call for Justice 14.12: “We call upon Correctional Service Canada and provincial and territorial correctional services to provide programming for men and boys that confronts and ends violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.”
“This project is very important as it will be Indigenous-led through its development and implementation at the community level,” said Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, Manager of the MMIWG Liaison Unit. “One of the key outcomes is to enhance the safety and well-being of First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people through the direct inclusion of men and boys as being part of the solution on ending gender-based violence.”
For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Email: [email protected]