Inuit distinctions-based apprach to address gender-based violence aginst Indigenous women

December 13, 2021

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada – “For Pauktuutit, ensuring a ‘distinctions-based’ approach to end gendered violence is not a preference, it’s an imperative that is absolutely essential to ending the tragedy of missing and murdered Inuit women and girls,” said President Kudloo. “A distinctions-based approach is necessary because Inuit history with the Crown — along with Inuit language, Inuit culture and Inuit geography — are expressly distinct from that of First Nations and Métis peoples.”
Specific areas to which Pauktuutit is advocating new funding be directed include
• Inuit-specific shelters and transition housing,
• training for Inuit midwifery,
• community healing centres and programs.
“While Pauktuutit is encouraged by the government’s commitment to a distinctions-based approach toward reconciliation, what we are seeing on a practical basis is a lack of detail regarding funding for Inuit women and gender-diverse people,” said President Kudloo.
“For example, a commitment this month for $724 million for Indigenous shelters and transition housing had no specific allocation for Inuit nor was any application available in Inuktut.”
The April 2021 federal budget committed $2.2 billion to address the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). However, there is still no information regarding how much money the federal government will allocate to Inuit partners like Pauktuutit to ensure the distinctions-based MMIWG Inuit Action Plan is designed and delivered by Inuit women for Inuit women.
For healing to occur, commemorative initiatives for the Inuit women we have lost must be designed and implemented by the victims’ families, Inuit women and our communities.
Likewise, programs and services to improve the safety and security of Inuit women, girls and gender-diverse people — as well as systemic change in areas like health care, education, housing and economic security — will only be achieved if the unique rights, interests, perspectives and ideas of Inuit are deliberately acknowledged, affirmed and implemented.
Pauktuutit also hopes the Economic Update will include funding for a distinctions-based approach to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Act. “Consistent with articles 22 and 44 of the UN Declaration — which recognize the special needs and rights of women, and work to ensure women have rights and freedoms equal to men — Pauktuutit looks forward to providing a Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) lens at all discussion tables, as full and equal participants in the federal government’s operationalization of UNDRIP,” said Kudloo.