Call to Action # 41: Actions and Commitments

AFN Breathing Life into Calls for Justice Action Plan

June 3, 2021

“Breathing Life”: AFN Action Plan

“Breathing Life” makes recommendations for coordinated action in four priority areas:

  • Justice: address barriers and inequalities in Canada’s justice system
  • Human security: ensure equitable access to basic needs, including shelter, food, and education
  • Health and wellness: provide services and programs that are culturally appropriate and trauma informed
  • Culture as safety: make cultural identity a priority in all preventative, supportive, and healing activities

National Priority Action Items:

Families and Survivors “Wrap-Around Services”

The following are action items targeted to help families and survivors navigate the legal system and support their healing and well-being throughout the process of seeking justice.

ActionCalls for Justice
Create toolkits or information kits for survivors and families, with emphasis on what supports and services are available for families in crisis and what to do within the first 72 hours of an incident occurring or a family member going missing.5.11, 5.13
Increase access to First Nations legal advocates, to help orient survivors and families withing the legal system and to accompany survivors with providing evidence and giving statements.5.11, 5.13
Financial support for Elders or family members to accompany survivors when providing evidence or giving statements and to families who are searching for a family member who is missing.5.6, 5.11
Creation of community-based spaces to increase access to justice.5.6, 5.11
Increased victim support services in remote communities.5.5, 5.6, 5.11
Increased support services, especially for survivors of family violence, including safe houses, financial aid, transportation, and legal advice.5.6, 5.11, 5.13
Support for families when dealing with the media and advocacy for trauma informed media practices.1.9, 6.1

The following are actions targeted to federal, provincial, and territorial governments to address the barriers and inequalities experienced by First Nations citizens in the justice system:

 ActionCalls for Justice
Establish a national investigative taskforce to review or reopen cold case investigations involving First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.5.6, 5.8, 9.5, 9.6
Establish a National Indigenous Human Rights Ombudsperson and National Indigenous Human Rights Tribunal, in partnership with the federal government, provincial and territorial governments, and First Nations.1.7, 5.1, 5.12, 9.5
Ensure appropriate funding of Gladue reporting to ensure that First Nations access to report writers and Gladue reporting.5.13, 5.15, 5.16, 5.17
Support to revitalize traditional and customary laws within First Nations jurisdictions.5.11, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5
Enhancing and respecting self-governance models within First Nations to provide support for families and survivors.5.11
Amend the Criminal Code of Canada to make “Indigenous identity” an aggravating factor when charging or sentencing accused.5.14, 5.15, 5.16, 5.18
Increase funding for First Nations justice initiatives and restorative justice and culturally appropriate victim offender treatment program.5.16, 5.21


The following are actions to address the barriers and inequalities experienced by First Nations citizens when dealing with the police:

ActionCalls for Justice
Create independent, third-party oversight bodies for all police forces across the country, which are accountable to the First Nations and First Nations citizens they serve.5.7, 9.6, 9.8, 9.9
Federal government to review and strengthen its human trafficking law and support law enforcement in counteracting the rise in international human trafficking rings.8.1
Ensure that police respond to calls involving a First Nations person going missing or being murdered in a culturally sensitive manner and understanding the contributing factors that cause missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.5.5, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.5
Police forces across the country be required to stop using “mug shots” of Indigenous women on missing posters.15.6
Support crime prevention which addresses risks and protective measures.9.7
Police Forces in Canada to acknowledge the colonial violence they have inflicted against First Nations and commit to accountability measures.9.1, 9.5, 9.7
Police Forces in Canada develop with First Nations and implement programs which will promote positive working relationships and trust with First Nations and First Nations citizens.9.2, 9.7


ActionCalls for Justice
Reducing the marginalization of Indigenous women and girls by improving socio- economic development and outcomes.1.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 8.1
Implement a national campaign targeted to industry and resource extraction companies to ensure safety and respect of First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people on the job site.13.1, 13.3, 13.4, 15.6
Support the increase in capacity of First Nations to produce their own food and provide for basic needs to promote social security, especially for northern and remote First Nations.4.1, 4.2
Increased access to transportation, emergency services, and improved infrastructure so emergency calls from northern and remote First Nations are responded to.4.8
Utilize technology to better track movements or track location of First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+, in accordance with privacy laws and regulations.1


The following includes actions meant to help improve health services and delivery mechanisms in concrete ways to promote community and individual health, safety, and healing:

ActionCalls for Justice
Services and programs serving First Nations must be culturally appropriate, trauma informed, understand addictions, and employ harm reduction strategies, and must be designed from the First Nations perspectives that are being served.3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
Design and implement a First Nations Health and Wellness Strategy for children of MMIWG2S+ to ensure they have culturally appropriate wellness support and healing practices.3.7
Increase access to aftercare services, which includes culturally appropriate healing practices and grief counselling.3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 7.2
Improve prevention programming and responses to violence within intimate relationships and families.3.3, 3.4, 5.3, 7.2
Funding for First Nations women’s centres, shelters, treatment facilities, and other safe spaces for First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.7.2, 7.4
Increased access to culturally appropriate mental and emotional health support for First Nations men and boys.7.2, 7.3
Increase the number of First Nations social workers available in hospitals to help navigate the health care system and advocate for First Nations patients.3.1
Services and programs serving First Nations must be culturally appropriate, trauma informed, understand addictions, and employ harm reduction strategies, and must be designed from the First Nations perspectives that are being served.3.6


The following includes actions that will assist in promoting culturally based prevention activities for First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people:

ActionCalls for Justice
Provide dedicated funding for First Nations schools and programming to support learning First Nations cultures and First Nations languages so children have opportunity to build strong cultural identities.2.2, 2.3
Provide dedicated funding for no-barrier programming supporting access to First Nations culture and First Nations language for adults, both on-reserve and living in urban centres.2.2, 2.3, 3.4
Provide dedicated funding to support preservation of cultural knowledge including First Nations customs, traditional knowledge, societal roles, and languages.2.2, 2.4, 2.5
Support mainstream public education reform to provide a better understanding of First Nations culture and the contributing factors that cause MMIWG2S+.1.9, 2.6, 6.1, 11.1. 11.2, 15.1, 15.2, 15.5, 15.6, 15.7
Design and implement a campaign raising public awareness aimed at changing attitudes that devalue Indigenous women and girls and the contributions of First Nations as an educational tool for violence prevention.1.9, 2.6, 6.1. 11.1, 11.2, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 15.6


The following includes actions that will assist in promoting culturally appropriate healing activities for First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people:

ActionCalls for Justice
Provide adequate funding to First Nations to develop their own culturally appropriate and land-based healing programs for the benefit of survivors and family MMIWG2S+, as well as all First Nations citizens affected by trauma.7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4
Increase access to culturally appropriate healing services and activities in urban centres.2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6
Evaluate questions being asked to First Nations people when accessing programs and services for cultural sensitivity and understanding the contributing factors that cause MMIWG2S+.2.6
Design and implement ongoing training for all government employees to understand the contributing factors that cause MMIWG2S+ and cultural sensitivity to better respond to the needs of First Nations.2.6


The following includes actions that will utilize First Nations culture as a safety support when individuals or families are experiencing trauma:

ActionCalls for Justice
Provide adequate funding for independent and culturally appropriate First Nations victim services.9.8
Provide adequate funding for cultural and spiritual supports to ensure that Knowledge Keepers providing these services are also properly supported.2.3, 7.1, 7.2
Increased access to First Nations interpreters and translation services to improve access to health and wellness, and justice, and when dealing with police during investigations.2.2, 7.5
Ensure First Nations experiencing traumatic events have access to and ongoing support from a crisis response team in a culturally appropriate way.3.5
Provide targeted funding for culturally appropriate prevention and healing programs for survivors of human trafficking.8.1

Other Actions and Commitments By Theme

The Path Forward: Reclaiming Power and Place

Read more

Federal and Provincial Justice Inquiries

Read more

Indigenous Responses to MMIWG Final Report

Read more

Government Commitments to Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Women

Read more

ONWA: Reconciliation with Indig. Women

Read more

Reclaiming Power and Place. MMIWG Final Report

Read more

MMIWG Interim Report and Govt. Response

Read more