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The Premier’s Council on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG Council) will report to the Premier on government action and identify the gaps that need to be addressed to eliminate violence against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual (2S+) and other gender-diverse people. The MMIWG Council will include Indigenous women and have a five-year mandate.
The new Alberta MMIWG Roadmap will guide the MMIWG Council’s work with government. The MMIWG Roadmap lays out four pathways for action:
- Community connections, healing and cultural supports
- Education, economic independence and infrastructure
- Community wellness and improving the justice system
- Accountability to and inclusion of Indigenous women and girls
Alberta’s four pathways address the root causes of violence identified by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and align with recommendations in the final report of the Alberta Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The Alberta MMIWG Roadmap will guide the development and implementation of further actions in response to the joint working group’s recommendations.
“For far too long, Canada has failed Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ peoples. Today, we will remember, listen to the voices of survivors, families and community members, and will act to make Alberta safer for all who call this province home. It’s not just up to the government: we all have a role in putting an end to the systemic racism that contributes to this ongoing tragedy. I call on everyone in Alberta to help us walk this path together.”
“After listening to the voices of family members and conducting a thorough review of what is currently happening within government departments and by stakeholders, we presented 113 Pathways to Justice: Recommended Actions of the Alberta Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. As the Joint Working Group was made up of Indigenous women, Elders and members of the legislative assembly, the resulting recommendations have been developed using a diverse lens and expansive scope. Today, with the announcement of the Premier’s Council and a roadmap, Alberta will now have a mechanism to assist with implementation of systemic changes required to ensure the safety of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.”
Alberta’s government provided more than $1 million in grants to support a range of approaches to help stem the ongoing crisis of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people, including:
- Improving the functionality of the Aboriginal Alert system across multiple platforms, building partnerships with law enforcement agencies and increasing public awareness of the service.
- Providing programming to Indigenous girls and gender-diverse youth aged 15 to 21 to help end the normalization of violence.
- Supporting community gatherings, healing circles and improved coordination with law enforcement and other emergency response agencies.
Enacting legislation modelled after Clare’s Law, creating a Public Safety Indigenous Advisory Committee and funding more Indigenous learner spaces at post-secondary schools are a few more steps Alberta’s government has already taken to increase safety and economic opportunity, but more work needs to be done.
In addition, the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) received almost $900,000 to support programs to help Indigenous women find jobs, security and success in Alberta’s workforce – another important safety measure for women.
More information on current government initiatives that will benefit Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people can be found on alberta.ca.
- First Nations, Métis and Inuit women face significantly higher rates of violence throughout their lifetimes than all other women in Canada.
- In Alberta, Indigenous women are seven times more likely to be murdered, three times more likely to experience sexual assault and twice as likely to be assaulted compared with non-Indigenous women.
- Alberta has the second-highest number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Out of all the MMIWG cases in Canada, Alberta has 16 per cent and 42 per cent of those cases remain unsolved.
Editors note: The web link to Increasing safety for Indigenous women and girls has been updated.