Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)
National Inquiry into Missing Indigenous Women and Girls
On September 1, 2016, the National Inquiry into Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) officially commenced, with a mandate to look into and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls, including sexual violence. This included examining the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional, and historical causes that contribute to the ongoing violence and particular vulnerabilities of Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
On June 3, 2019, the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released. The Final Report asserts that “human rights and Indigenous rights abuses and violations committed and condoned by the Canadian state represent genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people”.
The 4 Pathways that Maintain Colonial Violence that were explored in the report include:
- Historical, multigenerational and intergenerational trauma;
- Social and economic marginalization;
- Maintaining the status quo and institutional lack of will; and
- Ignoring the agency and expertise of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people
The Report included 231 Calls for Justice.
On June 11, 2019, the Executive Policy Committee (EPC) directed the Winnipeg Public Service to review the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG2S+) to identify how the City of Winnipeg can respond to the Calls for Justice that are within the City’s jurisdiction, and report back with its review and recommendations that can be achieved within existing City of Winnipeg budgets. From July to September, a review of internal programs, policies and services was conducted by Indigenous Relations Division (IRD) in collaboration with other departments to help inform recommendations.
A report went before EPC on March 17, 2020 outlining the City’s existing initiatives as well as opportunities to enhance existing programs and create new ones. As a result, EPC recommended to Council that the Public Service develop and execute an implementation plan of the proposed initiatives, and include progress on these initiatives in the annual Journey of Reconciliation report to Council, on a going forward basis.
At its July 15, 2020 meeting, the Executive Policy Committee directed the Winnipeg Public Service to include a progress update on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Calls for Justice and other initiatives, including but not limited to the work of UN Safe Cities, that respond to the Calls for Justice, in the annual Winnipeg Indigenous Accord report and the Journey of Reconciliation report.
What is the City of Winnipeg doing?
To show our commitment to and progress on the MMIWG Calls for Justice and to enhance the opportunities for our Accord partners to further participate in reconciliation, the City of Winnipeg is now including the MMIWG Calls for Justice in the Accord commitment and reporting process. It is our hope that including the MMIWG Calls for Justice within the Accord framework will provide an opportunity for other organizations to become Accord partners.
The City is also developing an Implementation Plan, which includes initiatives such as: developing and implementing an employee awareness campaign; enhancing existing training opportunities; exploring how the Calls for Justice can inform the development of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Strategy; examining current methods the City of Winnipeg uses for data collection; and considering how Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak programming or funding structure can be improved to respond to the Final Report.
Another component of the Implementation Plan includes continuing to monitor the Federal government’s response to the Final Report, as several of the Calls for Justice require the development and implementation of National Action Plans; the City of Winnipeg awaits direction from the Federal government to move forward to address these specific topics.
Progress on these initiatives will be shared annually through the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord report (mid-year) and the Journey of Reconciliation report (end of year).
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Honouring and Awareness Day
In 2017, Manitoba was the first province to make October 4th the official day to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Honouring and Awareness Day is a chance to honour and remember more than 1,200 Indigenous women and girls missing or murdered throughout Canada.
In advance of this important date, over 100 City employees gathered virtually on October 2, 2020, to learn about the National Inquiry from Dr. Karine Duhamel, Director of Research for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Dr. Duhamel shared the history that lead up to the National Inquiry, the progression of the inquiry, and guidance on how individuals can begin implementing the Calls for Justice in their personal and professional lives.