AMC acknowledges federal action on implementing the Calls to Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
August 13, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement to acknowledge the funding announcement in Treaty One territory by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown – Indigenous Relations (CIRNA). The announced funding of $180 million will be divided up amongst three main initiatives that arise out of the national action plan and the federal pathway for implementation of the Calls to Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (the National Inquiry).
$108.8 million is targeted for the creation of safe cultural spaces within First Nations and Inuit and Metis communities; $12.5 million is for culturally appropriate healing and mental wellness services for survivors and families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, and gender diverse people; $36.3 million over five years and another $8.6 ongoing to better support organizations run by and serving Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit and gender-diverse people at the grassroots level; and another $24.5 million will go towards funding Indigenous data projects and to establish a permanent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls secretariat within CIRNA.
Grand Chief Dumas says, “The AMC Women’s Council and the Assembly as a whole contributed extensively to the National Inquiry’s final report, Reclaiming Power and Place, with consistent messaging that the pan-Indigenous approach instituted by Minister Bennett in this file, and in many others, does not respect or uphold the unique relationship that First Nations have with the Crown and the successor state. In spite of the administration issues, problematic terms of reference that undermine the Treaty relationship, and the questionable underlying principles of the National Inquiry, the Women’s Council have supported the Calls to justice, and agree that funding for the areas identified in the action plan is much needed. The AMC has always supported families and survivors, the National Family and Survivor Circle, and it is good to have them involved at all stages so that Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people have access to and benefit from some of the announced funding and associated programming.”
“However, First Nations in Manitoba have been ignored with respect to its message and the need to channel funding intended for First Nations through their mandated entities rather than through non mandated organizations with no accountability to Chiefs. The so called distinction-based funding is not consistent with the position of the AMC, and the AMC was not consulted on the Federal Pathway to Address MMIWG and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, or on how funding agreements would be developed with non-mandated entities. Nevertheless, the AMC will work with the Federal Action Plan to ensure that all First Nations women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Manitoba continue to be protected through the announced measures.”
Grand Chief Dumas concluded, “there are indications in the media that a federal election will be called this weekend. The AMC will be monitoring the general election and all the federal parties very closely with respect to First Nations specific platforms, and support any and all candidates whose platforms recognize and uphold the unique and special relationship that First Nations have with the Crown.”