Leaders, partners and families gathered for the second annual Accountability forum from October 16 to 17 in Whitehorse to review the progress made on the Yukon’s MMIWG2S+Implementation Plan.
NationTalk: The Government of Yukon, under the leadership of the Yukon Advisory Committee, organized the forum. It brought together more than 150 participants, including families of MMIWG2S+, governments and community leaders and other partners. The Implementation Plan identifies holding such forums every year as an essential way to ensure progress on the strategy and to ensure families continue to be at the centre of the work.
The Yukon Advisory Committee, the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada presented reports on their progress and related work underway. The forum also gave participants opportunities to network and learn about best practices related to the implementation plan, including the roles and responsibilities of media in covering MMIWG2S+ and the role of land-based healing.
As a next step, the Yukon Advisory Committee and the Women and Gender Equity Directorate will work with partner organizations to prepare an annual tracking report for 2023.
I am grateful for the bravery and contributions of families and survivors to our ongoing work together. Thank you for your continued presence and guidance. Our committee will continue to keep families centred in our work, even as we move out of the strategy’s planning phase and into implementation.
– Executive Director, Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, Yukon Advisory Committee Co-Chair Ann Maje Raider
This year’s accountability forum provided myself, my co-chairs and the rest of our committee with an invaluable opportunity to both present on the work we have done since we released the implementation plan in June of this year and to hear from others on their work, their commitments and their challenges. We know that achieving real change will take time and sustained effort. We close this forum recognizing we all have much work ahead and that we can support each other in this work.
– Yukon First Nations representative Yukon Advisory Committee Co-Chair Doris Bill
We are just a few months into an ambitious 15-year plan to create systemic change. We also recognize that the crisis of MMIWG2S+ requires action now. As a key partner in this work, our government was pleased to share many initiatives underway that both respond and relate to the Implementation Plan. The Accountability Forum is a reminder that we are all stakeholders in our collective work to make systemic change and that if we are to make real, lasting change for Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit+ people, we must remain accountable to families.
– Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate, Yukon Advisory Committee Co-Chair Jeanie McLean
- This year’s accountability forum was the first to take place since the Yukon Advisory Committee released the implementation plan for the territory’s strategy in June 2023. The forum was followed by a day for families only on October 18.
- The Yukon Advisory Committee on MMIWG2S+ was established in 2015.
- In 2020, the Committee released Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice: Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy. In June 2023, the committee released the implementation plan for the strategy.
- The committee has three co-chairs:
- Ann Maje Raider Executive Director of the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society and co-chair representing Indigenous women’s organizations
- Doris Bill, representing Yukon First Nations governments
- Jeanie McLean Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate and co-chair representing the Government of Yukon
- The committee also benefits from the contributions of regular members representing families and survivors, Elders and each of the Yukon’s three Indigenous women’s organizations.
- The Government of Yukon provides secretarial and communications support to the committee.
Communications, Women and Gender Equity Directorate