Status: Active until March 2021 (with possibility of renewal)
Ministry responsible: Indigenous Relations
The Alberta Joint Working Group on MMIWG has been appointed to provide advice, direction and input into the Alberta government’s proposed action plan to address the calls for justice contained in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Indigenous women in Canada are three times more likely to be victims of violence than non-Indigenous women. In Alberta, 206 Indigenous women were murdered between 1980 and 2012 – accounting for 28% of all female homicide victims in that time period.
By addressing the calls for justice, we can build an Alberta where Indigenous women and girls are valued, respected, and are safe to lead lives filled with hope and promise.
The working group will support the government’s action plan by:
- advising on options to address issues of violence and the calls for justice
- making recommendations on how to work with Indigenous communities, other government and the private sector to implement the government’s final action plan
- providing input on the government’s draft action plan and final action plan
The working group will have a one-year mandate, which may be extended.
The working group includes Indigenous community experts who have experience advocating for rights of women and helping women who are victims of violence.
The working group will also include Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) who have a significant number of Indigenous people among their constituents and are aware of issues Indigenous peoples of Alberta face.
Lisa Higgerty is co-chair of the Métis Women’s Council on Economic Security. More than 15 years ago, Lisa started a career advocating for the victims of sexual abuse, resulting in the Mamowichihitowin, an innovative holistic program in rural Alberta unique to Canada. She has since expanded the mandate of the program to cover all types of domestic violence in west-central Alberta.
Rachelle Venne is the CEO of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women with experience in the non-profit, corporate and government sectors. She was a member of End Poverty Edmonton’s Aboriginal Roundtable and Implementation Road Map Team and one of six Canadian NGO delegates selected to attend the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2017.
Josie Nepinak is the executive director of Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society, the only Indigenous urban women’s shelter in Alberta. She has a strong background supporting Indigenous women and families dealing with family violence and facing complex social issues. She has a degree in women's studies. Josie believes in a balanced approach that combines Indigenous wisdom and healing with contemporary western methodologies to promote the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities.
Martin Long was elected to represent the constituency of West Yellowhead, on April 16, 2019. He is currently a member of the Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services and the Standing Committee on Families and Communities. Prior to his election, he worked as an operator for Alberta Newsprint in Whitecourt for nine years.
Whitney Issik was elected as MLA for Calgary-Glenmore on April 16, 2019. She currently serves on the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing and also on the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future. Prior to her election, she owned and operated a small business in Calgary for close to 30 years. She has also worked in the telecommunications and energy industries.
Tracy Allard was elected as MLA representing the constituency of Grande Prairie, on April 16, 2019. She currently serves on the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future. Prior to her election, she was a business owner, having franchised Tim Hortons restaurants in Prince Rupert and Grande Prairie.
- Making life safer for Indigenous women and girls in Alberta (March 5, 2020)