Today marked the formal release of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The release and closing ceremony took place in Gatineau, Quebec, with representatives from Yukon Indigenous women’s groups and family members of Yukon MMIWG in attendance.
The Government of Yukon, Yukon First Nations, Yukon Indigenous women’s groups and family representatives worked collaboratively as members of the Yukon Advisory Committee while the commissioners of the National Inquiry carried out their work.
The final report reflects the complexity of factors which have contributed to the number and prevalence of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Canada and contains hundreds of recommendations. Going forward, the Government of Yukon and advisory committee partners will continue to work together to review and analyze the report, and collaborate with key partners to build an action plan. This work will take time and careful consideration of which recommendations are applicable to Yukon and how best to create an action plan that reflects local needs and priorities.
The release of the National Inquiry’s final report is an important milestone for the Yukon families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and survivors, many of whom have been advocating for their loved ones for years.
We are thankful for the strength, determination and patience of the survivors and victims’ families throughout the process. We also thank the Commission for the National Inquiry into MMIWG for working so diligently and collaboratively with their territorial and provincial partners, as well as families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, for making recommendations that will fuel change throughout Canada. The recommendations will inform our own work going forward, which will be based on the sacred truths of 1,484 family members and survivors of violence and 83 knowledge-keepers, experts and officials.
Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Jeanie Dendys
It was important to uphold the truths of the families and survivors who courageously took part in this process. I am confident that we can change the story in Yukon; First Nation self-government uniquely positions us to make a real difference in the lives of Yukon families and to make our communities safer.
Kwanlin Dun First Nation Chief Doris Bill
I lost my sister at a time when there was no respect or regard for the rights of Indigenous women. This tragedy was made even worse by the disrespect our family was shown by the authorities. Things are getting better and thanks to the Inquiry and countless Indigenous women across Canada, my sister has finally been given a voice, along with so many other missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society Executive Director Ann Maje Raider
The November 2017 Commission’s Interim Report, “Our Women and Girls Are Sacred,” provided recommendations that informed the work of the Yukon Advisory Committee and their partners on action planning. This included work on the Sexual Assault Response Team planning and implementation, community safety planning, and promoting economic empowerment of Indigenous women and girls.
In 2017, Yukon was the first jurisdiction to host family hearings and one of the first to host advisory meetings. In keeping with Indigenous values, the Commission was welcomed back to the Yukon last month to take part in healing ceremonies.
The Yukon Advisory Committee is attending a private family gathering later this month with family members and survivors. Hosted by the Yukon Indigenous Women’s groups, the family gathering will mark the end of the Inquiry’s work, promote continued healing and look to the future to change the story for Indigenous women and girls.