Trudeau promises more safety, security for Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ people

·2 min read

The federal government will continue to make the safety of Indigenous women and LGBTQ people a priority, the Prime Minister said in a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People last week.

A year after the creation of the pathway – a direct response to the Report on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed the sentiment in Ottawa.

“On this important anniversary, we reaffirm the government of Canada’s commitment to continue working with survivors, families and communities to end the tragedy of the missing and murdered,” he said. “We will never forget those who never came home and we will honour their memories by working tirelessly to build a better future, where everyone is safe from violence.”

Trudeau promised to help curb the statistics that show Indigenous women are massively overrepresented in terms of going missing.

“To Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, today, and every day, we are supporting you in reclaiming your power and your place,” Trudeau said.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu also pledged to help reduce the number of women who go missing or are the victims of violence.

“In Canada, Indigenous girls and women are significantly more likely to experience gender-based violence than non-Indigenous women,” she said. “We will continue to fund partners to create and run programs that protect and support First Nations, Inuit, Métis and 2SLGBTQQIA+ families and survivors. Changing a culture that undermines the worth of women is not easy but we will keep at it. Together, we can make Canada safer and more inclusive for Indigenous women and girls.”

The government committed $2.2 billion toward the federal pathway in the 2021 budget, and the 2022 budget provides additional investments towards addressing some of the root causes of this tragedy, including racism, housing, education, mental wellness and health care, and economic development and employment.

Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations minister Marc Miller highlighted – and commended -- the commitment of Indigenous families’ advocacy efforts.

“I want to acknowledge the dedication and devotion of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and 2SLGBTQQIA+ families, survivors, communities, organizations, and leadership in their tireless advocacy,” he said. “We need your advocacy and guidance; our priority is to work together with you to end the violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. We know there is still much more work to do and we remain committed to seeing this work through.”

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase

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