Canada: National Action Plan to end violence aginst First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, girls, and two-spirit persons needed now
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report on June 3, 2019. The 1,200 page report included 231 Calls for Justice to end the staggering levels of violence experienced by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, girls, and two-spirit persons in Canada.
The federal government accepted the report’s finding of genocide and committed to developing a National Action Plan to prevent and address the violence by June 2020. However, government delayed development of the National Action Plan, citing the pandemic as a cause for delay, and the timeline and process to develop the plan remains unknown. The federal government has also not provided an official response to the National Inquiry's Final Report.
With levels of gender-based violence rising because of the COVID-19 pandemic, action cannot be delayed any longer.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has said that the failure to provide a comprehensive, coordinated response to violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit persons is a grave human rights violation.
The government of Canada must, without delay, provide a comprehensive response to the National Inquiry's Final Report. It must transparently outline the timeline, process, and funding to create and implement the promised National Action Plan to end violence against Métis, Inuit, and First Nations women, girls, and two-spirit persons. Government must also be clear about how the plan will be co-created with Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit people, communities, family members, and advocates, and how the process to create the plan will be action-focused and trauma-informed.
Call on Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett to take urgent action now.
Please send an email or letter to Minister Bennett:
- Start with ‘Dear Minister Bennett’ and a sentence about yourself to make your message unique.
- Express concern about the levels of violence experienced by Inuit, Métis, and First Nations women, girls, and two-spirit people in Canada, and fear that the National Inquiry’s Final Report will be yet another study allowed to gather dust on the shelves of government.
- Call on Minister Bennett to ensure government addresses the scale and severity of the violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people without delay.
- Specifically, call on Minister Bennett to:
- Provide an official and comprehensive government response to the Inquiry’s final report without delay;
- Publicly announce a timeline, process, and funding to create and implement a National Action Plan to prevent and address the violence; and
- Ensure that implementation of the Inquiry’s Calls for Justice includes full and proper engagement, and co-creation of solutions, with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and two-spirit persons.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
10 rue Wellington
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H4