Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on June 2, 2021 in Ottawa.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal government is promising increased funding for community organizations that support vulnerable populations as part of its formal response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Globe and Mail obtained a copy of the federal response, which will be made public on Thursday, the second anniversary of the inquiry’s release of its 231 calls to justice. Those recommendations include a national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse persons.

The Liberal government, which established the national inquiry in 2016 to examine why this group is disproportionately affected by violence, initially said it would respond with an action plan within a year. It said last year the timeline would be delayed because of the pandemic.

Story continues below advertisement

The federal response largely contains pledges to work with Indigenous organizations in a wide range of areas, but gives few details on what exactly Ottawa proposes or who would receive funding.

Ottawa’s contribution is intended to be one part of the national action plan. The response document says high rates of violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ [two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and/or asexual] people underscore the pressing need to ensure their safety and security.

“The government of Canada recognizes that threats to wellness and personal safety are not just physical threats such as violence but also include poverty, lack of access to affordable, adequate and safe housing, environmental threats, political repression, social unrest, denial of cultural practices, disease, food insecurity, and human rights abuses,” the document states.

The response pledges to boost funding to Indigenous organizations and communities to help prevent human trafficking and enhance victim services.

One section also promises to co-develop legislation that will ensure First Nations police forces are well-funded. Ottawa previously has promised to co-develop a legislative framework that recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service.

The response also says the RCMP will reform its recruitment practices, collect and report race-based data, and establish an RCMP-Indigenous collaboration, co-development and accountability office “to improve community engagement” and support the “delivery of appropriate education and training using an Indigenous lens.”

On health care, the government says it will co-develop “distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation” that will provide Indigenous peoples with increased control over the design and delivery of federally funded health services. “Distinctions-based” means specifically tailored to Inuit, Métis and First Nations. The government has previously pledged to co-develop Indigenous health legislation.

Story continues below advertisement

The document also said Canada must work toward ensuring Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people are “empowered, respected and their human security is safeguarded through the removal of socio-economic threats to wellness and personal safety.”

On Wednesday, the National Family and Survivors Circle (NFSC), which includes Indigenous family members and survivors from diverse backgrounds, presented Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett with a 50-page document that includes calls for justice in areas of culture, health, wellness, human security and the legal system. The NFSC has worked with Ms. Bennett’s department and Northern Affairs Canada as part of the government’s response to the inquiry.

NFSC co-chair Hilda Anderson-Pyrz told The Globe and Mail it is really important for the federal government to demonstrate action, adding that accountability mechanisms are also needed.

“Immediate action is needed and any delay in action is too long,” she said.

Governments can “no longer work in silos” to address a genocide, she said, adding that all levels must act.

On Tuesday, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) said it believed the federal government’s response to the inquiry is “fundamentally flawed,” and released its own plan. The organization said it includes 65 actions it will take.

Story continues below advertisement

The measures are budgeted at $30-million annually, which the group wants to raise from governments and other donors. They include what the NWAC called “resiliency lodges” to provide health, wellness, language and cultural programs for Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people. The plan also includes justice initiatives, such as developing training for police focusing specifically on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and gender-based violence against Indigenous women.

Two years since an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls released its sweeping report, a national action plan has been released to implement its 231 calls to justice. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated that he accepts the inquiry's finding that the deaths amount to a genocide and says the plan will turn the recommendations into meaningful action. The Canadian Press

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies