MMIWG Inquiry Final Report

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) has released a final report finding that “persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses” underlie violence against Indigenous women and girls. The report makes far-reaching calls for change directed to governments, media, individuals and others.

The release of the report marks the closure of a process launched on September 1, 2016 that saw more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers contribute through public hearings and evidence gathering.

The two-volume report delivers 231 “Calls for Justice” that are framed as legal imperatives rather than optional recommendations. These include:

  • The establishment of a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson and a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal, and
  • Developing and implementing a National Action Plan to ensure equitable access to employment, housing, education, safety and health care.

Wide-ranging calls to action are directed to all governments (federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous) including calls to:

  • Fully implement and comply with relevant rights instruments including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
  • Prioritize and resource measures to eliminate marginalization of Indigenous women, girls and others when developing budgets and determining government priorities; and, ensure adequate representation of these groups in governance.
  • Ensure rights to health and wellness of Indigenous peoples, including through programs for survivors of trauma and violence, and accessible holistic wraparound services including mobile trauma and addictions recovery teams.
  • Provide access to safe housing, clean water and adequate food for Indigenous peoples.
  • Ensure that non-Indigenous police services have the capacity and resources to serve and protect Indigenous women, girls and others.
  • Provide sufficient transportation to Indigenous communities, and in towns and cities, with planning and funding that considers ways to increase safe transit and special accommodations for rural and remote communities.

The report also includes distinctions-based Calls for Justice focused on Inuit, Métis and 2SLGBTQQ1A (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) people. 

In response to the report, the Federal Government has highlighted steps taken to address early recommendations, and indicated that it will develop and implement a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and two-spirit people. The Prime Minister also committed to working with provinces, territories and local governments to encourage cooperation across orders of government in responding to the report. 

Premier Horgan’s response indicated that the Province would review and consider the recommendations in the context of work underway in BC, including the Province’s commitment to implement UNDRIP. Premier Horgan also noted that community-based engagement to collaborate on taking concrete steps towards ending violence against Indigenous women and girls would begin soon, and continue through the summer and early fall.

UBCM members have long supported action on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and in 2015 passed resolution B111 calling on the federal government to convene a national inquiry. UBCM’s outreach on this issue also included a submission on the design of the inquiry process. UBCM will continue to monitor this issue, including steps towards implementation of the Calls for Justice.

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