MMIWG National Action Plan

The Federal Government has released a National Action Plan to address the violence, racism and disproportionate deaths of Indigenous women and girls in Canada, outlining short-term priorities corresponding to seven goals for transformative change.

The plan comes two years after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued 213 calls for justice, and follows a process that saw the Federal Government engage with the National Families and Survivors Circle and Indigenous communities across Canada.

Short-term priorities outlined in the plan include:

  • Launching public education campaigns and initiating Indigenous-led cultural initiatives;
  • Setting up trauma-informed training for those who work with Indigenous people, 24-hour mental health and addictions supports, victim services, and healing programs for impacted families;
  • Creating shelters, housing, access to high-speed internet, and a guaranteed annual livable income;
  • Recognizing “Indigenous self-determination and inherent jurisdiction over child welfare”;
  • Establishing oversight bodies to represent families and survivors’ complaints, a national task force to re-investigate unresolved files, and a justice-reform committee to review existing legislation; and
  • Addressing data collection issues, creating a Deputy Commissioner for Indigenous corrections, and collecting disaggregated and intersectional data on Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S+ people in the criminal justice system.

Notably, the plan lacks detail on which orders of government or other bodies will be involved in implementation, and local government roles are not explicitly detailed in the plan.  The plan also does not include timelines for implementation of the proposed actions. The plan instead provides for the development of a “comprehensive Implementation Plan” as a next step, to be finalized and launched in the fall of 2021.

Finally, in addition to the National Action Plan, the Federal Government issued a Federal Pathway, outlining next steps for the Government of Canada. In its 2021 Budget, the Federal Government allocated $2.2 billion to be spent over five years and $160.9 million per year on an ongoing basis to address the commitments related to the national inquiry.

Following release of the National Inquiry’s final report, UBCM endorsed resolution 2019-LR4, calling on local governments to bring the Calls for Justice back to their respective councils or boards for review, prioritization and consideration of endorsement in collaboration with local Indigenous communities. This resolution further called for the development and implementation of a National Action Plan, as released this week.  UBCM will continue to monitor this issue and report out on further details as they emerge.

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