Co-chairs issue statement on progress made towards shared priorities at roundtable on missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people in Canada

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OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 8, 2024 /CNW/ – Today the Chair of the National Families and Survivors Circle Inc., Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Gary Anandasangaree, and the Minister of Families for the Government of Manitoba, Nahanni Fontaine, issued the following statement after the second annual Indigenous-Federal-Provincial-Territorial roundtable on missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people:

“We stand united in affirming our unwavering commitment to addressing the national crisis and collectively working toward a secure, violence-free future for young Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit and gender-diverse kids.

Every day, Indigenous families and communities mourn their missing and murdered loved ones, tragically lost to the national crisis of violence against Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people across the country as the direct result of more than a century of colonialism. All governments — both on their own and together — have a responsibility and a moral obligation to put this crisis to an end. The voices of families, survivors of gender- and race-based violence, and those who work to address the root causes of this violence every day must continue to be at the centre of this work and we are grateful to those who joined us to share their perspectives.

Over the past two days, we came together with Indigenous leaders and partners and other governments. We had some difficult and very important conversations, but we also made some progress. It is abundantly clear that in order to put this national crisis to an end, we need to work together and be solutions-oriented. Collectively, we are working toward real change on priorities that families and communities told us are needed.

The hours immediately after a person goes missing are crucial in order to find them. National Indigenous organizations, regional organizations, technical experts, family members and survivors, and grassroots service providers must be central to continue our discussions around a Red Dress Alert. Building on Canada’s engagement sessions on what a Red Dress Alert could look like, discussions continued at the IFPT roundtable, and will continue going forward. The path forward must be collaborative and adapt to different regional realities to ensure that when an Indigenous person goes missing, they can be found.

Since Canada called a national inquiry in 2015, we have together determined a path forward to put this violence to an end through 231 Calls for Justice. There has been progress, but there is even more work ahead. We discussed the need for accountability to impacted families, survivors, and communities as work proceeds to implement the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan. Provinces and territories shared work underway and priorities for future action on their models to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people.

As we conclude the second annual IFPT roundtable, we pledge to keep working together to make Canada a safer place for all Indigenous Peoples. Together, we stand firm in our commitment to transformative change, where every Indigenous woman, girl, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse person in Canada is assured of their safety, their dignity, and their freedom from violence, where their rights are fully recognized and protected.”

Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement: [email protected]

Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Cabinet Communications: [email protected]

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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada

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