Brenda Wilson shares a song at the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls hearings in Smithers. (Chris Gareau photo)

Brenda Wilson shares a song at the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls hearings in Smithers. (Chris Gareau photo)

2 years after MMIWG report, Ottawa releases preliminary national plan

Funding for support services for survivors and family members identified as the first immediate step

Two years after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its sweeping findings, a plan to move forward on its 231 calls to justice is finally being presented.

The plan, branded as the long-promised national action plan, is something of a preliminary, but comprehensive, framework developed by a large group of partners, including the families of victims and survivors, each of Canada’s distinct Indigenous groups as well as provincial, territorial and federal governments.

An advance draft copy of the document, obtained by The Canadian Press, acknowledges that it is mainly laying the foundation for more detailed and costed steps to come at a later date.

But it does include seven immediate next steps that all partners have agreed to prioritize to ensure the document becomes a foundation for a more comprehensive plan to address the detailed recommendations of the inquiry.

Funding for support services for survivors and family members is identified as the first immediate step as well as “adequate funding” to ensure the survivors and families can remain involved to provide insight and input into the national action plan’s next steps.

An oversight body will also be established to represent the interests of families, survivors and Indigenous communities. It will be empowered to investigate and address any complaints of violation of rights or other concerns as the work continues.

A public education campaign on the lived experiences of Indigenous people will also be created, aimed at challenging the acceptance and normalization of violence against First Nations women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. This will include trauma-informed training for those who work with Indigenous people on topics such as history, culture, anti-racism, anti-sexism and anti-homophobia and transphobia.

A more in-depth implementation strategy for the plan will be developed later, with more specific information and additional medium and long-term priorities that all involved say they hope will lead to systemic change.

The plan — to be released later today in a virtual ceremony — does not include any dollar figures or funding commitments, but it does say funding, timelines and identifying who will be responsible for making each commitment happen will be among the next steps.

A Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls table will be struck to co-ordinate intergovernmental collaboration, and a data strategy is also already being developed to ensure more accurate and culturally sensitive data is available for decision-makers.

The data collected as part of this work will be protected by Indigenous data sovereignty to ensure First Nations, Métis and Inuit remain in control of and the stewards of their own information.

The draft document notes that even though this preliminary national action plan has been co-developed by a number of different partners, distinct plans or strategies developed individually by these partners — such as provinces or one particular Indigenous group — may not always be interconnected.

This means the priorities of the “core working group” members “may or may not concur with contributing partners’ plans or strategies in part or in whole,” the document states.

Earlier this week, the Native Women’s Association of Canada said it had walked away from working on this plan, citing a “fundamentally flawed” and politically motivated process to draft it.

Instead, NWAC released its own action plan, which, unlike the one being released today, has targeted measures with reporting mechanisms and costs attached.

On Tuesday, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett acknowledged the work of the Native Women’s Association as instrumental in pushing for the national inquiry to come to fruition.

“All of the work that they have done … we’re very grateful for that,” Bennett said.

Ultimately, she said the core group that was struck to lead the work has done an “extraordinary” job and will produce a plan that she says will be the “blueprint forward to move into that implementation phase with all the provinces and territories and all the distinctions-based governments and organizations.”

—Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

RELATED: Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

RELATED: RCMP needs structural changes to address racism: MMIWG commissioner

Federal PoliticsMMIWG

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read