Call to Action # 41: Actions and Commitments

Indigenous Responses to MMIWG Final Report

June 3, 2021

AFN and AFN Women’s Council: Breathing Life into the Calls for Justice: An Action Plan

The AFN together with the AFN Women’s Council, today released a 44-page action plan “Breathing Life into the Calls for Justice: An Action Plan to End Violence Against First Nations Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, urging enhanced and improved coordination efforts and resources to see real action and change to improve the safety of First Nations and assist families seeking justice. The plan was developed with direct input and contributions by First Nations survivors of gender-based violence and families of missing or murdered loved ones through an extensive and still ongoing engagement process led by the AFN Women’s Council.

It 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

This First Nations action plan is part of a broader plan developed in coordination with the National Families and Survivors Circle, federal, provincial/territorial, municipal and Indigenous governments, Indigenous representative organizations, and Indigenous partners and communities.  Both reports are in response to the 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released two years ago today.

June 8, 2020

AFN Women’s Council

The Chair of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Women’s Council, Chief Connie Big Eagle, said a National Action Plan which addresses violence, policing, and justice issues is urgently needed. There are numerous recommendations within the National Inquiry’s report that deal with policing issues and police interactions with First Nations women and girls,” said Chief Big Eagle. The AFN and the AFN Women’s Council have consistently advocated for immediate action such as greater funding for shelters and safe spaces, mental health supports, programming for men and boys, prevention, and greater funding for First Nations to develop land-based prevention and healing programs.

September 2, 2021

Appointment of non-Indigenous MMIWG Secretariat Executive Director

NWAC is demanding that the federal government explain its decision to appoint a non-indigenous man to head the secretariat established to address the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls… “there was no consultation with NWAC about the appointment of the MMIWG Secretariat Executive Director or what credentials are required for this position. Again, this is another example of the Government of Canada not respecting the opinions, views, or lived experiences of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people in this country.”

April 26, 2021

Assembly of First Nations

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is developing a First Nations-led National Action Plan to End Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA Peoples as mandated in Resolution 67/2019 passed at the AFN Annual General Assembly in Fredericton, NB. Resolution 67/2019 directs the AFN Secretariat to work together with the AFN Women’s Council to develop a First Nations-led National Action Plan with input from the regions and First Nation survivors, families and First Nations Coalitions and Grassroots Family organizations.

Throughout April and May 2021, AFN is hosting regional engagement sessions across the country designed with a “families first” approach to ensure those most impacted have a key role in driving efforts to address and end violence. The engagement sessions will welcome First Nation survivors, families and leadership to provide input and guidance in the development of the plan based on experiences in the different regions across the country.

Input from these discussion sessions in the regions will help build regional reports that will then inform the First Nations-led National Action Plan. This work will ultimately contribute to the broader National Action Plan being developed by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNA).

June 4, 2019

Assembly of First Nations

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde says immediate and sustained action in coordination with First Nations is essential to fully implement the recommendations and Calls to Justice in the final report. The AFN, together with First Nations, families and other Indigenous organizations, has consistently called for immediate action prior to the Inquiry and during the Inquiry process, and has outlined specific areas where immediate action can be taken to address and end violence.

October 4, 2021


BC Assembly of First Nations

The BCAFN is disappointed that calls to implement the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice fully and swiftly have so far been ignored by the provincial and federal governments. It’s been over two years since the National Inquiry released the Calls for Justice, and neither Canada nor BC has an implementation plan in place to see the Calls for Justice implemented in partnership with Indigenous peoples. While many valuable initiatives were noted in the National Action Plan released on June 3, 2021, the Plan was notably missing concrete components required for implementation, and this has yet to be rectified.

June 3, 2020

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami

On the anniversary of the release of the final report of the MMIWG, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) remains committed to the full implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice, including the co-development of a National Action Plan with Inuit leadership, National Indigenous Organizations, the Prime Minister, and the Government of Canada. ITK continues to advocate for the implementation of Call for Justice 1.7 regarding the creation of a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson and a National Indigenous Human Rights Tribunal, and calls for these measures to be included in forthcoming legislation to implement the UN Declaration in Canada.

ITK has committed to implementing all of the Calls for Justice, including 46 Inuit-specific calls, through a June 2019 resolution of the ITK Board of Directors. To this end, the implementation of the Calls for Justice are now a priority area within the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, where Inuit leadership, the Prime Minister and federal ministers pursue mutual goals to implement shared ambitions.

At an organizational level, ITK developed its 2020-2023 Strategy and Action Plan with an MMIWG lens. It was released in May with a 98% overlap in its deliverables and the 46 Inuit-specific Calls for Justice. It sets as objectives a number of policy areas with direct links to the Calls for Justice, including:

  • taking action to reduce poverty among Inuit, which includes quantifying the social costs associated with poverty in Inuit Nunangat and advancing poverty reduction interventions;
  • advancing Inuit-specific health and social development policies, programs and initiatives, which includes specific reference to supporting the implementation of the Calls for Justice; and
  • supporting Inuktut revitalization and promotion.

June 27, 2019

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami

In a resolution passed unanimously at a meeting of the ITK Board of Directors, Inuit leaders, including the Presidents of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Nunatsiavut Government, Makivik Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation supported the full implementation of the Calls for Justice contains within the National Inquiry into Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in their final report and commit to fulfilling obligations laid out through its Calls for Justice, including the 46 Inuit-Specific Calls for Justice.

ITK will work with the Inuit regions, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and the National Inuit Youth Council to facilitate the full implementation of all Calls for Justice contained in the Final Report of the National Inquiry.”
Inuit leaders discussed the Inuit-specific Calls for Justice (16.1 to 16.46) within the full context of the report. Inuit leaders support

  • the affirmation that land claim and self-government agreements between Inuit and the Crown be upheld and implemented,
  • the commitment to Inuktut, Inuit knowledge, culture and values, and art within the Calls for Justice.
  • Inuit leaders also welcome the acknowledgement of the importance of the implementation of the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy,
  • the full realization of the Nanilavut project, and
  • the implementation of the recommendations contained within the Qikiqtani Truth Commission.

June 4, 2019

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak is the voice of Métis women from across the homeland.

The National Inquiry has failed its mandate for Métis Women and Girls. While the Final Report has 29 Métis-Specific Calls for Justice, none of these provide concrete and effective action that can be taken or include the identification and examination of practices that have been effective in reducing violence and increasing safety for Métis Women and Girls that the Inquiry was specifically directed to do in the Terms of Reference of the National Inquiry. Very few of the recommendations actually speak to working in partnership with Métis communities or organizations to remedy these gaps, or establishing a nation-to-nation, government-to-government approach. The Final Report contains numerous problematic statements and recommendations that actually undermine the self-determination actions of the Métis Nation to respect self-identification of Métis and completely ignores the Métis Nation Definition.

February 10, 2021

Native Women’s Association of Canada

NWAC and the Moosehide Campaign Development Society have signed an historic memorandum committing the two organizations to work together to end the ongoing violence against Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people. It is an acknowledgement that men, including Indigenous men, must be part of the solution to end what the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls determined to be a genocide. Raven Lacerte, the co-founder and ambassador of the Moose Hide Campaign, said: “Our collective efforts of ensuring this country is a safe and loving place for our precious Indigenous women is driving this connection. We realize the need for everyone to be part of the solution … We believe men and boys need to be part of the conversation in order to be part of the solutions to make this country safe for all of us.”

June 23, 2020

Native Women’s Association of Canada

NWAC is calling upon ministers — federal, provincial and territorial — as well as police forces across Canada and the RCMP to take the first necessary steps to end the needless deaths and assaults of Indigenous women, men and gender-diverse people at the hands of Canadian police by immediately implementing the three following reforms:

  • all frontline police officers be equipped with body cameras;
  • “shoot-to-kill” orders be revised to make non-violent apprehension the imperative when suspects are not brandishing firearms, and to better train officers on how to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations; and
  • turn over some of the duties currently performed by police when called to deal with an Indigenous person who is suffering from a mental health issue to social workers, health professionals or elders (many others have called for this reform in recent days as well).

June 1, 2021

Native Women’s Association of Canada Action Plan

Release of NWAC Action Plan “Our Calls. Our Actions NWAC’s Action Plan to End the Attack Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and Gender-Diverse People”. The Action Plan identified 65 specific recommendations across the following themes:

  • Culture and Language (3)
  • Health and Wellness (4)
  • Human Security (20)
  • International (5)
  • Justice (10)
  • Public Awareness (23)

The above recommendations are based on the seven “Principles for Change” advocated by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry

  • a focus on substantive equality and human and indigenous rights 
  • a decolonizing approach 
  • the inclusion of families and survivors 
  • self-determined and indigenous- led solutions and services 
  • recognition of distinctions (first nations, métis, and inuit) 
  • cultural safety 
  • a trauma-informed approach 

The ultimate goals of this Action Plan is to:

  • take concrete actions on the calls for justice 
  • implement holistic healing and programming, including violence intervention and prevention across canada 
  • reduce poverty by supporting economic independency and resiliency 
  • increase public education on the root causes of discrimination and violence against indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people 
  • break down colonial barriers and promote self-determination of Indigenous women.

For complete details for each of the fully costed recommendations click on the attached link:

June 4, 2021

NWAC file human rights complaint with OAS

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is taking immediate steps to file a Human Rights complaint in Canada and to request International intervention and investigation by the Organization of American States (OAS) and United Nations (UN) in forcing the federal government to take the steps necessary to end the genocide against Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people.

NWAC is taking that urgent action following a failed effort on the part of the federal government to table a genuine action plan to address the genocide against Indigenous women in Canada. Two years after the national Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls filed its final report, the federal government table a document called Federal Pathways earlier today in lieu of the national action plan that the Inquiry had mandated.

This means that the government is not taking action on the 231 Calls for Justice that are legal imperatives. As set out in Calls for Justice 1.1 the action plan had to have:

  • dedicated funding
  • timelines for implementation
  • measurable goals, and
  • resources dedicated to capacity building, sustainability and long term solutions.

June 3, 2019

NWAC Response to Final Report

The process of colonization created the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The report exposes this crisis that is centuries in the making. It also highlights that discrimination is deeply rooted in policies, practices and laws, denying Indigenous women their basic human rights. This discrimination and systemic violence must end by implementing the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice. Recommendations (from MMIWG section NWAC website):

  • Engage with communities through a culturally relevant gender based analysis to address and end the systemic violence that impacts Indigenous women, girls, gender-diverse people and their families and communities.  
  • Provide Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people with the option and opportunity of removing themselves from abusive relationships through community and network support. 
  • Enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people.  

June 28, 2021

NWAC: Safe Passages

The government’s Pathways document has none of these. In particular, the action plan had to include an implementation plan, and it does not.

Toronto Star – NWAC has initiated “Safe Passages” an online project to “collect and collate data related to the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.“  We simply have no reliable data to show us the scope of this tragedy that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has determined to be a genocide… The national inquiry, which has troubles obtaining details about individual cased from police forces across the country, demanded in its “Calls for Justice” that the government improves its data collection about these crimes.”

June 3, 2021

Ontario Native Women’s Association

ONWA is the oldest and largest Indigenous women’s organization in Canada and yet was not invited to participate in the development of the National Action Plan in response to the MMIWG Inquiry Final Report Calls to Justice. The ONWA left the Native Women’s Association of Canada in 2016 so, in effect, the voices of Indigenous women in Ontario have been excluded from the MMIWG process.

The federal government’s Nation-to-Nation approach excludes Indigenous women who are not connected to a First Nation, Metis organization, or Inuit land claim organization. It reinforces patriarchal systems and values that continue to keep Indigenous women unsafe and vulnerable to violence. ONWA will advocate to not only be included in the implementation process but also advocate for:

  1. Addressing the immediate safety needs of Indigenous women.
  2. The reinstatement of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation for all Indigenous community members in Canada to have access to healing programs that meet their needs.
  3. Inclusion of Indigenous women’s voices

To view ONWA’s Reconciliation with Indigenous Women report go to:

June 3, 2019

Ontario Native Women’s Association

ONWA board president Dawn Lavell-Harvard, “ONWA is committed to ending violence against Indigenous women, rooted in a long legacy of colonialism that has diminished the value of Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people in this country. The best way we can remember the value of those missing or murdered is to put an end to the conditions, attitudes, behaviours and systems that have caused this devastating situation.”

ONWA has seen how effective holistic strength-based services, combined with Indigenous ways of knowing and being are in providing wrap around services to Indigenous women and families which mirrors many of the recommendations within the Inquiry Final Report.

June 3, 2020

ONWA contribution to National Action Plan

We have recently completed our consultations to contribute to the National Action Plan on MMIWG. We heard consistent messages across Ontario. The time to invest in Indigenous Women is now – during the crisis and one year after the report was released.

We need stable and consistent funding devoted to addressing gender-based violence. Indigenous women have the solution to ending violence against them, and they need the funding to address it. Indigenous women need to lead the National Action Plan to ensure accountability to addressing the issue. We need to be at the table making decisions about or for Indigenous women. Indigenous women have a right to safety and a right for services that meets their needs that are designed, developed and implemented by them.

June 2, 2020

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada called on Prime Minister Trudeau to immediately implement at least one of the 46 Inuit-specific recommendations contained in last year’s Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) – namely, funding for five new Inuit shelters in Inuit Nunangat and in Ottawa. On May 29, 2020 the federal government announced $85 million in federal funding for the construction and operation of 12 new shelters for Indigenous women and girls.  However, the new funding does not include any Inuit-specific shelters for women and children fleeing violence. The Pauktuutit are asking for $20M for 5 shelters in the four Inuit regions of Canada: Nunavut, Inuvialuit, Nunatsiavut, Nunavik as well as Ottawa which has the highest urban Inuit population in Canada.

Inuit women face violence at a rate 14 times greater than other women in Canada. Of the 51 communities in Inuit Nunangat, 37 of them (73%) do not have safe places for Inuit women and girls fleeing violence.

October 4, 2020

Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of MMIWG (2020)

Ontario Native Women’s Association

Release of “Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of MMIWG (2020)” with 13 key recommendations covering 28 systems that Indigenous women navigate throughout their lifetime and the forms of violence they face within them, including: healthcare, child welfare, education, food/income security, homelessness/housing, employment, social services, media/social media, etc. The report incorporates the traditional 13 Grandmother Moon Teachings. These strength-based recommendations and a wholistic approach foster independence, resilience, and environments in which Indigenous women and girls are respected, not dehumanized, and their safety is supported.

April 7, 2022

University of Winnipeg hosts “Report into MMIWG2S – “The University Responds Conference”

NationTalk: On June 17 and 18, University of Winnipeg faculty members Dr. Jacqueline Romanow Department of Indigenous Studies, and Dr. Jane Barter, Department of Religion and Culture, will be hosting the Report into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited Persons (MMIWG2S) — The University Responds Conference.

This national conference, which aims to bring together scholars, activists, educators, community and family members of MMIWG2S, direct student service providers, and students, will look at how universities can address the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into MMIWG2S.

“This conference is conceived as a way to make the report again front and centre in our minds,” said Romanow. “The issues associated with MMIWG2S have not gone away – in fact the realities of pandemic life have made many of them worse. We want to relight the fire around the National Inquiry and address the recommendations from the perspective of universities.”

The conference will feature three keynote speakers:

Karine Duhamel

Dr. Karine Duhamel is Anishinaabe-Métis and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University, a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University, and a Master’s Degree and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Duhamel was formerly Adjunct Professor at UWinnipeg, where she developed and taught courses on the history and legacy of residential schools. She also served as Director of Research for Yerch Law Corporation, conducting research related to claims under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

From 2018 to 2019, Dr. Duhamel was Director of Research for the National Inquiry into MMIWG2S, drafting the Final Report, as well as managing the Forensic Document Review Project and the Legacy Archive. She is now a public servant working to implement the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice across all levels of government.

Sheila North

Sheila North is former Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which represents 30 northern First Nations in Manitoba. She is the first woman ever to hold this position. She is also former Chief Communications Officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

North ran for the position of National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 2018. North is a former CTV journalist and was nominated for a Gemini Award as a CBC journalist. Her journalism has long covered MMIWG2S and, in 2019, she released a documentary on the issue, titled 1200+. For this documentary, she worked closely with family members, who shared their stories of loved ones’ disappearances.

Sandra DeLaronde

Sandra DeLaronde is a member of Cross Lake First Nation whose roots are in the Métis settlement of Duck Bay. Throughout her distinguished career, she has made it her life work to bring attention to the situation of MMIWG2S. She served as co-chair of Manitoba’s MMIWG2S Coalition. DeLaronde helped develop and oversee the Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Scholarship, established in 2000 to honour the young woman who was murdered in The Pas in 1976.

Calls for paper proposals

Romanow says they’re also inviting research papers on the themes pertaining to the Report, especially those which address Calls 11.1 and 11.2.

“What we’re really looking for is to create a forum where Indigenous scholars, community members, families, and others can come together and reimagine a world where Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited persons are not in crisis, where they are not disproportionately in danger of being murdered or to go missing, or to suffer violence,” she said.

“What can we do as academics to address the recommendations of the final report? This is the key question: what can we do, through our roles in universities across the country to dismantle the colonial and patriarchal barriers to Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited peoples’ safety, security, and happiness.”

Perspectives of universities

After this conference, Romanow hopes universities will take time to look at the ways they operate and improve services, policies, and the curriculum. She says Indigenous women have always been the heart and soul of communities and if universities really want to Indigenize, they need to make them front and centre.

Also of particular importance to this conference is attending to two-spirited experience. We look forward to hearing from the diverse voices in the two-spirited community, including Elder Albert McLeod, who will be giving the closing remarks at the conference.

Other Actions and Commitments By Theme

The Path Forward: Reclaiming Power and Place

Read more

Federal and Provincial Justice Inquiries

Read more

Government Commitments to Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Women

Read more

ONWA: Reconciliation with Indig. Women

Read more

AFN Breathing Life into Calls for Justice Action Plan

Read more

Reclaiming Power and Place. MMIWG Final Report

Read more

MMIWG Interim Report and Govt. Response

Read more