Statement from Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke on Anniversary of MMIWG Final Report
June 3, 2020
As we mark the first anniversary of the release of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, I urge all Manitobans to join the Manitoba government in remembering the lives lost in this unspeakable national tragedy.
We acknowledge and honour the women, girls, families and Indigenous communities who have shared their personal tragedies and grief and we honour their pain with a commitment to continue working together to meaningfully address the report’s calls for justice.
We will never fully know the depth of the wounds you carry, but we stand with you today.
We must address the systemic injustices experienced by Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people with concerted and collaborative approaches, and we are committed to taking concrete steps to respond to the recommendations from the national inquiry’s calls for justice.
We are moving forward with an engagement plan to prioritize the viewpoints and perspectives of Indigenous women, families, leaders and communities in Manitoba. In the coming weeks, I look forward to these conversations with Indigenous leadership and the Manitoba MMIWG Coalition to further this important work.
The relationships we have already established will support our work in Manitoba as we move forward on the engagement strategy and build on the positive collaboration that has already taken place.
Work is ongoing through our Gender-Based Violence Committee of Cabinet, and we have established an interdepartmental committee that will guide further discussions on the calls for justice, which includes representation from Manitoba Status of Women and the departments of Justice, Families, Education, and Health, Seniors and Active Living.
Complementing this work, I am pleased to note that a variety of important initiatives are underway that support the national inquiry’s calls for justice such as:
• our ongoing work with Clan Mothers to enhance accessibility to land-based teachings for Indigenous youth who are at high risk of sexual exploitation;
• our efforts to improve access to technology for justice stakeholders in remote and northern communities;
• our continued efforts to work with Indigenous leadership, police agencies and other community partners to more fully incorporate the use of restorative justice options where appropriate; and
• our ongoing partnership with Indigenous community members and elders to introduce eagle feathers for use in Manitoba court rooms.
We recognize the significance of this day, and look forward to hearing more from families, Indigenous leadership and community organizations throughout this process.
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