Albertans encouraged to implement calls to justice from MMIWG inquiry

Every Albertan should play a role in advancing the calls to justice that came out of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, says the inquiry's former chief commissioner, Marion Buller. 

"That really comes down to speaking out against sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, and holding governments to account," said Buller, in an interview with CBC. 

Buller was in Edmonton to address a crowd of around 200, who had gathered at MacEwan University for a public discussion hosted by the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters.

She encouraged everyone to read the report and educate themselves on the discrimination faced by Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S+ people.

"Systemic racism is so subtle. It's real, but i doesn't come up necessarily in the face like some forms of discrimination," she said. "So it's really important to be educated about it to really understand the subtleties." 

The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was published in June and contained 231 calls to justice. 

The recommendations were issued to government, police, and the larger Canadian public to help address endemic levels of violence directed at Indigenous women and girls.

Buller said even small actions add up. 

"I say to people 'Pick one thing, just do one thing,' because if a thousand people do one thing we have tremendous social change," she said. 

"You start with one thing but it'll become more over time. So it is time for change, and we're ready."

The inquiry found that Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or to go missing than members of any other demographic group in Canada.

Alberta has the second highest rate of instances of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, with 16 per cent of cases occurring in the province, according to the report.

Josee St-Onge/CBC