ontario news watch

Native Women's group releasing own plan on MMIWG, citing 'toxic' federal process

OTTAWA — In the absence of a plan from Ottawa, the Native Women’s Association of Canada is releasing today its own action plan for implementing recommendations from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The organization says it has lost confidence in the federal government and is walking away from a “toxic, dysfunctional” process. 

President Lorraine Whitman said in a tweet published Monday that her group’s action plan is one that “puts families, not politics, first.”

The association has been vocal in criticizing Ottawa for not doing enough to implement the inquiry’s 231 calls for justice, which found decades of systemic racism and human rights violations had contributed to the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of Indigenous women and girls and that it constituted a genocide.

Last year, the Liberals delayed their promise to release a national action plan on the one-year anniversary of the inquiry’s findings, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The inquiry’s recommendations spanned themes of health, justice, security and culture, including a number of calls for more effective responses to human-trafficking and sexual exploitation and violence — with a national action plan at top of the priority list.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2021. 

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press