Métis Women BC and MNBC welcome Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Action Plan release

Surrey, B.C. (June 4, 2021) – Métis Women British Columbia (MWBC) and the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) congratulate the efforts of the Government of Canada, in consultation with diverse Indigenous representative nations and organizations, on the release of the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People.

The National Action Plan is a demonstration of the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to tackling the systemic causes behind the violence disproportionately experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+. MNBC supports of this plan, commits to continuing our work toward ending this violence.

For decades, Indigenous grassroots activists, organizations, the Sisters in Spirit Initiative, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have called for a public inquiry into the systemic causes behind the violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+.

Since December 2015, the federal government has been working to develop a meaningful framework to redress the systemic causes of violence that Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ experience. On June 3, 2019, the Government of Canada released the Reclaiming Power and Place report, which identified 231 calls for justice to be integrated on a national scale. Following the release of the final report, Indigenous women’s organizations, and other key stakeholders from across the country were engaged to help develop the National Action Plan.

MNBC welcomes the release of the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan and thanks both the Government of Canada and all engaged throughout the process in the Indigenous communities throughout the process for their efforts in support of ending the violence against our sisters.

We are encouraged that the federal government reverently supports the ongoing work and contributions of the National Family and Survivors Circle, who ensure that we, across Canada, centre families’ and survivors’ experiences, voices, and wisdom.

We look forward to opportunities to work alongside the Government of British Columbia with their Path Forward: Priorities and Early Strategies for B.C. Action Plan.

“As a Métis member of the National Family and Survivors Circle, my hope going forward is that families and survivors across the country are central to any process to address gender-and race-based violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. With the advent of the National Action Plan, I am optimistic that the unique voices of impacted Métis family members and survivors will be heard in their need for support, regardless of location or affiliation. I believe that every part of our society, from governments, to organizations, to institutions, to individuals, must be accountable and commit to substantive actions that end all forms of gender-and race-based violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.” – Jana Schulz, MNBC Region 4 Women’s Representative (during the ceremony of the NFSC contribution to the National Action Plan via Facebook live on June 2, 2021).

“I am grateful for the bravery and heart that was put into the National Action Plan.  This would not have been possible without the women, family members and community from around the country,” says Dr. Kate Elliott, MNBC Minister of Women and Gender Equity. “It is imperative that we keep the momentum of this work going so that we can demonstrate our commitment to supporting our women and girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+.”

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If you are affected by the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and need immediate emotional assistance, call 1-844-413-6649.

You can also access long-term health support services such as mental health counselling, community-based emotional support and cultural services and some travel costs to see Elders and traditional healers. Family members seeking information about their missing or murdered loved one can access Family Information Liaison Units

Read the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan here: https://mmiwg2splusnationalactionplan.ca/

Watch video of NFSC release of their contribution to the National Action Plan June 2nd, 2021 here: https://fb.watch/5UTJ1OKS0L/  

Read NFSC’s Contribution to the National Action Plan here: https://familysurvivorscircle.ca/2021/06/02/nap-contribution/  

If you or someone you know is in crisis:

Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number if you or someone you know is in immediate danger from assault or abuse. To speak to someone confidentially and to get more information, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or contact one of the services below.

24-hour Métis Crisis Line toll free 1-833-638-4722

BC Health 211 https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/te7721

VictimLink https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/victims-of-crime/victimlinkbc

Learn the Signal for Help: https://canadianwomen.org/signal-for-help/ For inquiries, contact Sheila Lewis at slewis@mnbc.ca.