On October 4th, 2021 the National Farmers Union (NFU) joins calls for justice on the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. On this day we remember and honour the women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people who have lost their lives as a result of colonial genocide and gender-based violence. On this day we also want to highlight the final report on the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), including its 231 Calls for Justice.
While the Liberal government has pledged $2.2 billion over five years to address the MMIWG report, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has expressed concern that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s action plan does not include a clear implementation strategy. NWAC has also stated that the recent appointment of a non-Indigenous man as the MMIWG secretariat is “absolutely inappropriate.” The NFU calls on the government to implement the Calls for Justice in a way that is accountable to the principles set out by the report as well as to Indigenous organizations such as the NWAC.
To express support for NWAC’s concerns we can all take up MMIWG’s call to “help hold all governments accountable to act on the Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the important principles we set out.” We encourage you to contact your local MP and insist that :
(1) the appointment of a non-Indigenous man as MMIWG secretariat be rescinded, and that an Indigenous woman/two-spirited person be appointed instead; and
(2) the federal government establish a clear implementation strategy by the end of 2021, to be reviewed on an annual basis via public progress reports.
NFU members can also put into meaningful action other Calls for Justice that are relevant to all Canadians, including:
- “Denounce and speak out against violence towards Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people;”
- “Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area. Learn about and celebrate Indigenous people’s history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today;
- “Speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same wherever it occurs: in your home, in you workplace or in social settings;”
- “Create time and space for relationships, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationships specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work, and put them into practice.”