Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement to mark the 2021 National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIGW). To mark this important day, the AMC demands movement on the national MMIWG action plan and implementation of all 231 National Inquiry Calls for Justice.
“Last year, on the first anniversary of the release of the National Inquiry’s Final Report, the AMC expressed disappointment that little progress had been made and that the National Action Plan as called for in the Final Report had yet to be started,” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “At the time the Assembly expressed disappointment that the Federal government would not meet its June 2020 deadline for release of the National Action Plan. This happened while First Nations women, girls and LGBTQRS2 citizens in Manitoba continued to be subjected to violence and have their human rights violated as an effect of cultural genocide.”
It has been two years since the release of the Final Report and, despite some positive signs, there is still no substantive progress by the Federal government to ensure that First Nations women, girls and LGBTQRS2 are protected and that no further acts of genocide are perpetuated.
“On May 5th and every day the AMC stands with MMIWG survivors and family members in their calls for remembrance and awareness of their loved ones,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “The AMC also stands with survivors and family members in their calls for the immediate development of the National Action Plan for implementation of the 231 Calls to Justice of the National Inquiry into MMIWG. Lives are at stake and the longer the federal government stalls the delivery of the National Action Plan the more our women, girls and LGBTQS2 will be in danger and subject to colonial violence in Manitoba and elsewhere in this country.”
“It will soon be two years since the release of, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” Grand Chief Dumas added, “and this government continues to find excuses and stall the implementation of the National Action Plan. There was a commitment to the Calls for Justice in the recent federal budget, and I commend the Federal government for the First Nations budget commitments, but there is no Federal recognition of the National Inquiry’s findings that the treatment of First Nations women and girls in this country amounts to genocide. We are all going through COVID-19 together but the work by the Chiefs continues to get done. The Federal government cannot continue to use COVID-19 as an excuse for not delivering on this critical component of the National Inquiry.”
“There is also still no commitment from the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations on a new target date for releasing the Plan. The AMC finds this completely unacceptable on any day, let alone today. It especially egregious on the National Day of Awareness and while First Nations women and girls in Manitoba continue suffer the effects of colonial violence and cultural genocide, that a Plan promised a year ago is still not delivered. Today would have been a great day to release the National Action Plan. It would have been symbolic and a strong sign of this government’s commitment to reconciliation; however, like so many of this government promises to First Nations, it is simply more rhetoric, more excuses and just another lost opportunity to give expression to the Calls for Justice,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.