Yesterday, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released their final report, Reclaiming Power and Place.
As the National Inquiry states on their website, “The Final Report is comprised of the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers shared over two years of cross-country public hearings and evidence gathering. It delivers 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians.”
Women’s Shelters Canada welcomes these Calls for Justice and pledges to continue to work with Indigenous women’s organizations to end violence against women. Specific to VAW shelters, we are committed to the following Calls:
4.7 We call upon all governments to support the establishment and long-term sustainable funding of Indigenous-led low-barrier shelters, safe spaces, transition homes, secondstage housing, and services for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people who are homeless, near homeless, dealing with food insecurity, or in poverty, and who are fleeing violence or have been subjected to sexualized violence and exploitation. All governments must ensure that shelters, transitional housing, second-stage housing, and services are appropriate to cultural needs, and available wherever Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people reside.
16.19 We call upon all governments to develop and fund safe houses, shelters, transition houses, and second-stage housing for Inuit women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people fleeing violence. These houses and shelters are required in all Inuit communities and in urban centres with large Inuit populations. Shelters must not require full occupancy to remain open and to receive funding. Further, they must be independent from child and family services agencies, as women may not seek shelter due to fear of agency involvement. This action includes the establishment and funding of shelters and safe spaces for families, children, and youth, including Inuit who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA, who are facing socio-economic crises in all Inuit communities and in urban centres with large Inuit populations.
WSC recognizes that the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people is genocide. This genocide is ongoing; concrete actions, including changing racist and misogynist systems, are needed. These changes must be informed – and led – by the voices of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
WSC had the privilege of attending the release of the final report at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, yesterday morning. It was a profoundly moving and emotional event, honouring the families and survivors who participated in the Inquiry and recognizing their strength and resilience in continuing to fight for justice.
There is much more work to be done – a collective effort by all Canadians is needed to read the report, support and advance the Calls for Justice, stand up to racism and misogyny, and end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
Written by WSC staff
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