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Licence plates to raise money for MMIWG2S

The Manitoba Métis Federation’s Infinity Women Secretariat is applauding the provincial government’s decision to sell specialty licence plates in support of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirited people.

On Friday, the Manitoba government announced the plates would be available for purchase at Autopac agents across the province. Thirty dollars from the sale of each set of place, which cost $70, will go toward supporting Ka Ni Kanichihk, a Winnipeg-based Indigenous-led organization.

Adrienne Carriere, the vice-spokesperson for the Manitoba Métis Federation’s Infinity Women Secretariat, was present at the announcement on Friday and said it moved her deeply.

“We heard from three family members about the importance and the significance of this work that’s being done by the families — work that’s been started by the families and has been propelled forward,” Carriere told the Sun. “It was an extremely beautiful ceremony.”

The licence plates will be a powerful stimulus for grassroots education and efforts to prevent the issue of MMIWG2S and is very significant for families who have been affected, she said.

“It’s an epidemic, and its been an epidemic for a long time, so this is another step in that process to continue to advocate and hopefully, at some point, not have to have these kinds of things.”

Housing, Addictions and Homelessness Minister Bernadette Smith said she introduced the bill to create the licence plates on behalf of MMIWG2S families as it is very close to her heart and has impacted her own family.

“We wanted to make sure other Manitobans recognized the significant impact of the reality we face. Ka Ni Kanichihk has incredible programs that support families who have been impacted by the loss of missing and murdered loved ones,” she said. “This will truly make a difference in our community.”

Dodie Jordaan, executive director of Ka Ni Kanichihk, said the licence-plate initiative not only raises awareness about MMIWG2S, but also provides support to Ka Ni Kanichik’s programs towards education.

“Together, we drive change, honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ while supporting survivors and communities on the path to healing and justice,” she said.

Smith’s bill, called Bill 204, received royal assent on May 30 and unanimous support from all parties. If all the 6,000 plates available are sold, Ka Ni Kanichihk will receive $180,000 by springtime, Justice Minister Matt Wiebe, the minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance, said.

Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun