Building a national action plan with partners
Honouring those we have lost
We remember and honour those daughters, mothers, grandmothers, aunties and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people who were taken from us, the survivors of violence, and families and community members whose lives have been forever changed.
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Towards a national action plan
In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and the decades long advocacy from families and survivors, the Government of Canada began a detailed pre-inquiry across the country in 2015 and in 2016 launched the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. This inquiry included all provinces and territories and the federal government. It brought together Indigenous leaders, families and survivors, communities, knowledge keepers, experts and institutions from across the country to study and discuss the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional, systemic and historical causes, policies and practices for this ongoing violence. The work of the national inquiry ended in June 2019 with the release of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The report contains 231 Calls for Justice calling upon various organizations to take action to end the causes of this violence:
- all federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments
- health care
- child welfare
- correctional services
The Government of Canada, provincial, territorial, Indigenous and municipal governments and Indigenous partners were called upon to work together to respond to the issues identified by the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and its Calls for Justice. Together, we co-developed a national action plan to end the systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual people (2SLGBTQQIA+).
On June 3, 2021, the 2021 National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, And 2SLGBTQQIA+ People was released. As one component of the national action plan, the Government of Canada developed the federal pathway.
About the national action plan
The national action plan is a major step in ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. It will always be changing and adapting and will be updated regularly. To address the Calls for Justice, provinces, territories, municipal, Indigenous governments, organizations and communities across the country worked with us to contribute to the national action plan to instill the necessary change over time across the country to ensure Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are safe wherever they live, now and in the future.
The components of the national action plan build on the concrete measures in place to guide active solutions to end the violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
With the integral involvement of the family and survivors, the national action plan is built with a focus on the principle "nothing about us, without us." This upholds and prioritizes their voices and truths and places them at the centre of co-development. The national action plan is:
- an approach that includes all levels of Canadian governments, Indigenous governments and organizations
- rooted in the unique needs, experiences and cultural contexts of First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples
- considerate of the needs of diverse regions
- respectful of the experience and expertise of family members and survivors
- updated regularly based on effectiveness and accountability
- meaningful because it measures real results
Building the national action plan
The national action plan builds on proven and promising community-led initiatives from across the country. It includes the concrete and effective measures put in place by governments and addresses the issues identified in the Calls for Justice.
The national action plan was co-developed with:
- family members and survivors
- Indigenous governments and organizations
- federal, provincial and territorial governments
- 2SLGBTQQIA+ organization leaders
- grassroots organizations
- subject-matter experts
Working collectively, we completed our respective components of the national action plan through a series of working groups, each led by Indigenous women.
The Core Working Group and the National Family and Survivors Circle are central to the process. They work together to support the sub-working groups by coordinating and validating their efforts. This process includes more than 100 Indigenous women. The sub-working groups provide their input and feedback into the Core Working Group, which is co-chaired by Gina Wilson, Deputy Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and Senior Associate Deputy Minister for Canadian Heritage for the Government of Canada, and Valerie Royle, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture and Deputy Minister of the Women's Directorate for the Government of Yukon.
The National Family and Survivors Circle is comprised of family and survivors from across the country and provides guidance based on lived expertise. It promotes creation of pathways for inclusion of, advocacy for and validation by family members and survivors within the development and implementation of national action plan. This ensures the national action plan reflects families' and survivors' experiences and results in transformative change that positively impacts Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, families and survivors.
Sub-working groups/contributing partners
Sub-working groups have created pieces of the national action plan that together form the national action plan. Every contribution from the working groups represents a unique perspective that must be considered carefully on its own and in the context of the whole plan.
Partner organizations and governments are organized into sub-working groups that include over 100 Indigenous women:
- the federal sub-working group
- the provincial and territorial working group
- the urban sub-working group
- the 2SLGBTQQIA+ sub-working group
- the First Nations sub-working group
- the Inuit sub-working group
- the Métis sub-working group
- the data sub-working group
The National Family and Survivors Circle, made up of individuals with distinct First Nations, Inuit and Métis backgrounds, works closely with the Core Working Group to ensure that all the proposed ideas are guided by the experiences and wisdom of families and survivors to ensure the national action plan includes:
- actions that are effective to address the root causes of violence
- a plan to instill the necessary change over time to make sure that Canada keeps Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people safe for future generations
Who is involved
Responding to the issues identified by the Calls for Justice requires the cooperation and collaboration of many different groups, governments and the people of Canada.
The Government of Canada
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) led and coordinated the work in response to the national inquiry and the development of the national action plan. CIRNAC monitors the work to ensure that progress continues.
Departments from across the federal government worked together addressing the issues identified in the Calls for Justice that fall within their respective jurisdictions to build the federal pathway. These initiatives were compiled into one chapter of the national action plan. The federal pathway is organized by the 4 major themes from the national inquiry and led by:
Culture: Heritage Canada
Health and wellness: Indigenous Services Canada
Human security and safety: Women and Gender Equality and Public Safety Canada
Justice: Department of Justice and Public Safety Canada
Supporting Government of Canada departments involved:
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
- Library and Archives Canada
- Statistics Canada
- Natural Resources Canada
- Employment and Social Development Canada
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
- Health Canada
- Corrections Canada
- Privy Council Office
- Public Prosecution Service of Canada
Provinces and territories
Provincial and territorial governments working with municipalities from across the country also contributed:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Indigenous groups and organizations
Many Indigenous groups and organizations worked on the development of the national action plan, including:
- National Family and Survivors Circle
- Assembly of First Nations' Women's Council
- Pauktuuit Inuit Women of Canada
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
- Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak
- Manitoba MMIWG Coalition
- Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
- Ontario Federation of Friendship Centres
- Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata
- 2 Spirits in Motion Foundation
- Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
- Femmes Autochtones du Québec
- Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
- National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence
- National Association of Friendship Centres
- Newfoundland Aboriginal Women's Network
- Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
- Ontario Native Women's Association
How we are engaging
Engagement is ongoing with partners, including with Indigenous organizations addressing violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
These partners include survivors with lived experience. All the partners provide expertise on the issues and how to address them. While COVID-19 has changed the way we work, these discussions have moved online to:
- share proven and promising practices
- identify gaps and challenges
- learn from one another while forging partnerships which will result in the transformative change to end this national tragedy
The work also continues with families and survivors directly to identify:
- their ongoing priorities
- programs that have proven or promising results
- gaps and ongoing challenges that will need to be addressed in a national action plan
Since the release of the final report, we have provided funding to Indigenous organizations to support engagement with their members, including families and survivors, and to identify priorities for the plan and mechanisms for co-development.