The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Recognizes the Anniversary of 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan
June 3, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues the following statement in response to the one-year anniversary of the release of the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+.
On June 3rd, 2021, in response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry titled Reclaiming Power and Place: the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Core Working Group in collaboration with the National Family and Survivors Circle and contributing partners developed a National Action Plan which identifies 7 key goals and several subsequent short-term priorities to ensure the implementation of the 231 Calls to Action identified by the National Inquiry.
“It is disappointing to see the lack of attention or care of both the federal and provincial government to implement the Calls-for-Justices, despite, having a National Action Plan. The AMC has always been a strong supporter of First Nations-led solutions to address common issues affecting First Nations citizens. Since the release of the MMIWG National Inquiry Report, the AMC has experienced significant resistance from various levels of government in fulfilling their nation-to-nation responsibilities to First Nations to move forward on a Manitoba First Nations Action Plan,” stated Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean.
In 2019, the Chiefs-in-Assembly passed resolution JUL-19.03 The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Recommendations Regarding the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) that call upon the federal government to meaningfully support and fund a Manitoba First Nations specific response to host two regional summits in Manitoba to conduct engagement with First Nations Elders, Knowledge Keepers and citizens to begin coordination efforts to deliver a 10-year plan that supports First Nations self-determination and governments as addressed in recommendation 142 of AMC’s submission to the National Inquiry.
“The longer we wait for the federal and provincial government to do the right thing, the more risk we are taking to ensure the safety of First Nations women and girls. The fact that we continue to see children being removed from their mothers at alarming rates, it only perpetuates children becoming vulnerable and mothers becoming helpless. We need to restore our inherent laws and traditions of caring and supporting each other,” stated AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse stated.
In 2018, the First Nations Family Advocate on behalf of the AMC testified at the National Inquiry to include a number of recommendations around the impacts of child welfare on children and families indicating the crisis of overrepresentation of First Nations children in care and called for funding to support initiatives that prevent the forcible removal of children that amounts to genocide by implementing Articles 7 and 22(2) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). Another key recommendation put forth by AMC called upon the government to implement Article 10 of UNDRIP to fund initiatives to protect human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and resource extraction which irreparably harm First Nations and target the systemic vulnerability of First Nations women, girls and LGBTQQIA+ peoples.
“To truly enact decolonization efforts outlined in the Calls for Justice it requires full and unrelenting cooperation from government partners who have a duty to restore the balance and uphold their duty to reconciling the past with concrete actions that prioritize the safety of First Nations women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ peoples” stated Chief Betsey Kennedy, Member of the AMC Women’s Council. “The MMIWG crisis is rooted in colonization – violence toward First Nations women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are embedded into the fabric of Canadian society and such systems must be dismantled”.