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Ending violence against Indigenous women, girls

Ending violence against Indigenous women, girls

June 3, 2021 at 9:43 am  BC, News, Politics

The National Action Plan (NAP), a path towards ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples in response to the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice has been released.

The release of the report falls on the second anniversary of the final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The NAP includes highlights of the key priorities and progress related to ending this violence in Canada. British Columbia is also posting its own response, A Path Forward: Priorities and Early Strategies for B.C.

“The National Action Plan is an important milestone that will inform our work here in British Columbia,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We greatly respect the perspectives, wisdom and experience of survivors, family members, Indigenous partners and community members and are committed to ongoing collaboration as we build and implement the path forward together.”

British Columbia has made significant commitments to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, including the introduction of the Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act to align laws with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Province committed to the development of a Path Forward to end violence and supported Indigenous-led community dialogue sessions in 2019 and 2021 to inform this work. B.C.’s Path Forward reflects community-based priorities and sets a solid foundation with early strategies for a path forward to ending violence. The Province is making an initial investment of up to $5.5 million in 2021-22, with additional investments under consideration. 

With these resources, B.C. will invest directly in a community fund – accessible to First Nations communities, urban/off reserve communities, Métis citizens and 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities – to support capacity to develop safety plans. Other areas to be prioritized for additional funding include the development of 2SLGBTQQIA+ training and education resources for the public service and for commemoration and honouring of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples who have gone missing or been murdered, and their family members.

Addressing violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples is complex work that requires a holistic approach to addressing the intergenerational trauma and inequity faced by Indigenous communities since colonization. The Path Forward recognizes that addressing this trauma and its systemic causes will require transformative change through intentional collaboration, not only with Indigenous communities but with all British Columbians.

Quotes:

Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity –

“Violence against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people remains an urgent issue in our province and across the country. In honour of the survivors whose courage has led us here, and in honour of the women, girls and two-spirit people who have been stolen from their families and communities, we are committed to working with community to create lasting change.” 

Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant –

“This has been a call to action from Indigenous women for decades. It’s a really important issue to survivors, families and advocates in my community across B.C. Following through on the calls to justice is a priority to me as a Nisga’a and Gitxsan woman, MLA and cabinet minister. Now is the time for real action. I know my colleagues are committed to following through on this work.”

Elaine Alec, author and partner, Alderhill Planning –

“It’s critical that survivors, family members and communities have a voice in how to take action to ensure that we end the systemic racism and violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+. It has been an honour to lead the conversation with the brave survivors, family members and communities, and I’m pleased to have provided government with critical information to guide priorities and strategies to developing a Path Forward.”

Quick Facts:

  • Following a recommendation from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, government announced in April 2021 that Highway 16, known as the Highway of Tears, will have cellular coverage along the entire route.
  • As part of TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty reduction strategy, the First Nations Public Service Secretariat received $2.7 million to administer the First Nations Well-Being Fund
  • Since March 2020, B.C. has provided $20 million to support a multi-year grant program delivered by Ending Violence Association of BC to support the delivery of co-ordinated, community-based emergency sexual assault response services, which are trauma informed and culturally appropriate, in regions throughout B.C. In recognition of the substantial need for locally relevant and culturally safe supports for sexual assault survivors in Indigenous communities in B.C., funding supports programs through both an Indigenous services stream and general services stream. 

Learn More:

The National Action Plan: www.MMIWG2SplusNationalActionPlan.ca

A Path Forward: Priorities and Early Strategies for BC: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/about-bc-justice-system/inquiries/mmiw/mmiwg-status-update.pdf

To learn more about the Community Dialogues and Community Toolkit, visit: www.pathforward.ca

To learn more about cellular connectivity, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021CITZ0025-000648

To learn more about TogetherBC, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/poverty-reduction-strategy

To learn more about sexual assault response services funding, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021PSSG0045-001030

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