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

John Archie plans to share his experiences of residential school and life on the rez at an event on June 19. (Kelly Sinoski photo -100 Mile Free Press)
Tsq’escen to share stories of ‘life on the rez’

John Archie to share his experiences in event Saturday

100 Mile House Fire Rescue responds to a grass fire on private property near Canim-Hendrix Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Small fire off Canim-Hendrix Road extinguished

The small grass fire was reported by neighbours and quickly brought under control

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A Category 3 fire ban will go into effect across the entire Cariboo Fire Centre beginning noon on Monday, June 21. (Pixaby photo)
Category 3 fire ban extends across entire Cariboo Fire Centre June 21

Campfires are still permitted, but no larger than half a metre high by half a metre wide

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read