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Justice (25-42)

NWAC’s annual scorecard to assess federal response to the genocide against Indigenous women finds lack of urgency and transparency

June 3, 2024

NationTalk: GATINEAU, Que. – A statement from Carol McBride, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), on the release of NWAC’s annual scorecard of the federal government’s efforts to address the tragedy of the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people.

“Do Canadians truly understand that Indigenous women in Canada are six times more likely than non-Indigenous women to die a violent death? That is the question that we, at the Native Women’s Association of Canada, continue to ask ourselves as we report on the progress made by the federal government in meeting the goals of its own Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan. Does the government understand that it has a legal imperative to meet the Calls For Justice of the National Inquiry which found the crimes against us constitute a genocide?

Every year since June 2019, when the Inquiry’s final report was released, NWAC has said the progress being made to address those 231 Calls For Justice is too slow. We have said there is no real sense of urgency to stop the deaths and disappearances. We have tried to give voice to the anguish and fear that continues to resonate as beloved mothers, daughters, sisters and aunties are found dead or go missing. This year is no different. NWAC’s Annual Scorecard of government efforts to address the violence finds that much more needs to be done before we can say the Inquiry’s demands are truly being addressed.

We do applaud the government for the initiatives it has undertaken. But we also note a significant lack of transparency that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us to fully assess what is being done and whether it is having any significant effect. To that end, we reiterate our demand that the government update its National Action Plan to make it fully costed, and to incorporate measurable milestones. We need to see efforts being accelerated, and we need to know whether the committed funds have actually been released and are achieving results.

We need to see the creation of the oversight bodies that have been promised to us. We need to see specific action taken to implement initiatives to keep Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people safe, including Red Dress Alert systems across Canada. And we need more efforts to address the inequities that are at the core of these crimes, including the disproportionate number of Indigenous women who are incarcerated in prisons where they are told their lives have little value.

NWAC, meanwhile, continues to make real progress on its own response to the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice, and is close to full implementation of the 66 costed and measurable goals contained in our plan entitled Our Calls, Our Actions. But we need governments to step up.

It has now been more than two decades since NWAC and Indigenous women across Canada began sounding the alarm about the number of our sisters who are being lost to violence. It is a message we will continue to deliver. Because the toll continues to rise, and the cost in lives continues to be too great.”


About The Native Women’s Association of Canada

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a national Indigenous organization representing political voices of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people in Canada. NWAC is inclusive of First Nations—on- and off-reserve, status, non-status, and disenfranchised—Inuit, and Métis. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on a collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people within their respective communities and Canadian societies.