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Kiiwetinoong MPP and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic Sol Mamakwa is calling on the province to implement recommendations from the recent report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. Provincial representatives are taking in the recent report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in […]
Provincial representatives are taking in the recent report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. The report called for over 230 “calls to action” to address violence, discrimination and systemic racism on the Indigenous community.
During Question Period at Queen’s Park, Kiiwetinoong MPP and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic, Sol Mamakwa, called on the province to immediately begin work on the recommendations.
“We thank the families for coming forward and sharing their truth-telling stories to improve the lives of Indigenous women and girls. We have to understand that things have been this way for generations. Our people live it on a daily basis. It’s not enough to accept the report and say that this government will listen; Indigenous people expect action and systemic change.”
Mamakwa cited the provincial government cutting the $5 million Indigenous Cultural Fund, making Indigenous curriculum in secondary schools an elective opposed to a mandatory course, and cutting the child’s advocate office, as examples of the province not addressing Indigenous issues. “These cuts impact Indigenous safety and the future of our people,” Mamakwa added.
He later called on the province to provide funding for prevention programs to counter violence against Indigenous women and girls, and to implement support programs for victims. Mamakwa says that between the recent MMIWG report, and various other reports, over 1,200 calls to action to all levels of government have been made to address violence against Indigenous women and girls.
In response, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister responsible for Women’s Issues, Lisa MacLeod, says that the province is committed to providing better outcomes for the Indigenous community.
“One of the most emotional periods of my life was sitting there as we accepted the report. It was very meaningful to me. We’re working on a number of those recommendations. This government, under Premier Ford, is committed to ensuring that we support our Indigenous sisters.”
MacLeod notes the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services will be implementing a child and youth advocate, with responsibilities for children and women. As well, the ministry will continue to collaborate with and grow Indigenous-led children’s aid societies, lead an Indigenous child welfare roundtable, and continue with social assistance reforms. There are 11 Indigenous-led societies across the province.
“This is an important issue that every member of this assembly and every person in the province should be aware of. We must stand with our Indigenous sisters, and LGBTQ2S+ individuals, as they confront systemic racism across the province and this country,” MacLeod added.
The 1,200 page MMIWG report details what the inquiry commission describes as inter-generational Canadian genocide. The report states that Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be missing or go missing than any other demographic in Canada – and 16 times more likely to be killed or disappear compared to Caucasian women.
The report’s over 230 recommendations, or “calls for justice”, include developing a response to human-trafficking cases, sexual exploitation, violence, and the sex industry. The report also calls for the federal government to implement a national Indigenous and human rights ombudsman and tribunal, and to address food, housing, transit options, and funding for women’s shelters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that he and his federal government plans to conduct a thorough review of the report, and develop a national action plan to address violence against Indigenous girls, women and the LGBTQ2S+ community.