The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is Disappointed in the Lack of Consultation for the First Round Table between First Nation Leaders and the Federal-Provincial Governments
April 27, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is disappointed in the federal-provincial governments after they released a Report of the Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People on April 18, 2023, without consulting with or inviting AMC and Grand Chief Cathy Merrick, despite inviting Indigenous leaders and the federal and provincial governments representatives.
On January 10, 2023, Indigenous leaders, representatives, federal and provincial ministers, and family members held a virtual round table to discuss Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people (MMIWG2S+). The focus was on improving cross-jurisdictional collaboration, highlighting areas of success, and hearing from families, survivors, grassroots groups, national indigenous groups, regional advocacy groups, and others.
“Federal and provincial governments must recognize First Nations’ inherent right to be consulted and to provide the authority for reports like this,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “As the Grand Chief of AMC, I advocate for Manitoba First Nations and their citizens, and the government needs to recognize the importance of consulting with First Nations leaders. I would have been at this round table, and I should have been.”
In this report, there were a lot of essential points, like the need for more funding for Indigenous organizations, how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) can support anti-racism, the province’s MMIWG2S+ strategy, the first accountability forum and implementation strategy, and resources needed for housing, food, shelter, nutrition, trauma-based programs, etc. Toward the end of the report, the Minister explains how the National Inquiry was designed to fix systemic gaps that contributed to the disproportionate number of MMIWG2S+ people and acknowledges that federal, provincial, territorial, and Indigenous officials need to think about what to do next. The AMC has the experience and knowledge to contribute to these discussions and the governments missed an opportunity to consult with First Nations leadership.
“Although these are all critical points to be addressed, I want to point out that if the government can’t consult with all First Nations leaders, then the government isn’t taking First Nations consultation and decision-making authority seriously enough to address these points and make a substantial difference,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.