Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: Government of Canada announces support of commemoration initiatives in Nunavik
July 13, 2020 – Puvirnituq, Quebec – Women and Gender Equality Canada
In recent months, the daily lives of not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations, including organizations in northern communities, have been particularly shaken with the COVID-19 pandemic, which added further pressure on their already limited and valuable resources. The Government of Canada is committed to continuing to support them in their mission and initiatives, including commemoration, to the best of its ability.
Commemoration is a powerful way to honour truths, support healing, create awareness, and advance reconciliation. We cannot fully address the systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people without acknowledging the past.
That’s why the Government of Canada created the Commemoration Fund which invests over $13 million in over 100 commemoration initiatives from coast to coast to coast to help honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, including LGTBQ and Two-Spirit people.
As part of this investment, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Quebec Lieutenant and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced today that the Government of Canada is providing $100,000 in support of the Inuulitsivik Health Centre’s On the Land workshops-commemoration events in the communities of Puvirnituq and Inukjuak, Quebec, and for the commission of a commemoration sculpture. This project will help honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people, and increase awareness about this ongoing national tragedy.
This responds to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ interim report, issued in November 2017, and stems from a Call for Proposals launched by Minister Monsef under the Commemoration Fund in February 2019.
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls submitted its Final Report on June 3, 2019. The Government of Canada is working to end this national tragedy with Indigenous, provincial and territorial partners. We are continuing to co-develop the National Action Plan and to recognize and honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people, and support the healing of families, survivors and First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
“The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was a step forward and not an end. We cannot move forward and eliminate gender-based violence without first acknowledging the past. That is why supporting commemorative projects across Canada, such as the Inuulitsivik Health Centre’s On the Land workshops-commemoration events and sculptures, is so important to help honour those who are missing and those whose lives have been tragically lost.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
“The Inuulitsivik Health Centre’s commemoration initiatives are making a concrete contribution to the Government of Canada’s efforts to raise awareness of this national tragedy and to put an end to it. The funding for this project is making a real difference in the lives of the people of Nunavik, but also of the entire province.”
The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
“The MMIWG2S+ Commemoration initiatives in Nunavik will honour family and community members who were tragically taken from us. The objective is to foster the healing of families, survivors and communities whose lives have been forever changed. We know there is much more work to do to end this national tragedy. We are working in partnership to take concrete actions that will keep Indigenous women, girls, LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people safe wherever they live.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“This investment from the federal government will help support a crucial part of the healing process for our communities in Nunavik. We must remember and honour Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people who are missing or have been murdered. They have been tragically taken from their families, friends and communities, and it is our hope that in remembering them, we can help stop the cycle of violence.”
Maata Putugu, Director of Social Services
Inuulitsivik Health Centre
- In 2016, the Government of Canada provided $53.8 million to establish the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, to complete its important work, and it received additional funding of $38 million to support its extension to complete its Final Report.
- The National Inquiry released an interim report with recommendations on November 1, 2017. The Government of Canada responded to the interim report on June 5, 2018 including launching the Commemoration Fund.
- The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls presented its Final Report to the public at a televised closing ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec on June 3, 2019. The Prime Minister committed to thoroughly reviewing the final report to determine the next steps we need to take together to prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls, and Indigenous LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people.
- While Indigenous women and girls made up only 5% of Canada’s total female population according to the 2016 Census (Statistics Canada, 2018), they account for 23% of all women and girls murdered in Canada between 2014 and 2018 (Statistics Canada, 2019).
- As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada announced new funding to provide critical support to Indigenous families and communities during this crisis, based on needs that have been identified. The funding includes:
- $10 million to Indigenous Services Canada’s existing network of 46 shelters on First Nations reserves and in Yukon to support Indigenous women and children fleeing violence through the Family Violence Prevention Program.
- $285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities;
- $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program; and
- $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence.
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
Women and Gender Equality Canada