AMC Commemorates National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA
May 5, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty 1 Territory – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) joins many others across Turtle Island in commemorating the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Women, Girls, and Gender Diverse People.
Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean stated, “All First Nations in Manitoba continue to be affected by of the loss of loved ones who have either gone missing or been a target of gender-based violence. The lives of all our relations, including women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA are sacred. They deserve to live a safe and thriving life, without fear of violence. We need to continue to honour that sacred role and ensure that future generations can live with greater security.”
May 5 is recognized as the day to honour and raise awareness for Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people who have been murdered or are missing. Sadly, for First Nations in Manitoba, there has been a long history of missing and murdered First Nations women. This was one of the reasons for the creation of the Manitoba Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, which was in part a response to the murder of Helen Betty Osborne from Norway House Cree Nation. Many of the AJI recommendations for the province of Manitoba remain outstanding. This was noted in presentations made to the recent National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Many of the 231 recommendations of the MMIMWG National Inquiry’s report Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls remain outstanding.
Chief Betsy Kennedy of War Lake First Nation and Chair of the AMC Women’s Council said, “today is a time to take time to pause, reflect and gather in a good way to commemorate the day with ceremony, walks, and gatherings. We continue to call on Canada to meaningfully involve First Nations in Manitoba to implement the outstanding recommendations of the report of the MMIWG National Inquiry as they identified ways to better protect First Nation women, girls, and gender-diverse people. All First Nations women and future generations deserve to live life protected from the fear of violence or being taken.”
Today, the AMC First Nation Family Advocate Office is hosting a walk for the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diverse People, followed by ceremony and prayers. Advocacy for families and MMIWG2S relatives is important, to give a voice to those who are not able to speak out anymore.
Acting Grand Chief Cornel McLean concluded, “It has been 3 years since the release of the final report of the MMIWG National Inquiry. The longer we wait to implement a National Action Plan and the 231 Calls for Justice, the more we put First Nations women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA relatives at risk. This is a matter of life or death for many. The time for change is now.”