How we built a national action plan with partners
Honouring those we have lost
We remember and honour all Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual Plus (2SLGBTQQIA+) people who were taken, the survivors of violence, and families and community members whose lives have been forever changed.
On this page
About the national action plan
The 2021 National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, And 2SLGBTQQIA+ People (PDF Version, 6,93 MB, 113 pages) is a major step in ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. To address the Calls for Justice (PDF Version, 643,15 KB, 52 pages) and Calls for Miskotahâ, (PDF Version, 6,19 MB, 44 pages) families and survivors, the federal government, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous governments, alongside Indigenous organizations and communities, worked together on the national action plan to make the necessary change across the country to ensure Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are safe wherever they are, now and in the future.
With the integral involvement of the families and survivors, the national action plan was 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:
- honours the strength of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and supports them in reclaiming their sacred roles and responsibilities
- includes families and survivors throughout its implementation
- focuses on substantive equality and Indigenous human rights that include inherent, treaty and constitutional rights and responsibilities of Indigenous peoples
- supports a distinctions-based approach to ensure that the unique rights, interests and circumstances of First Nations, Inuit and Métis are acknowledged, affirmed and implemented
- respects intersectional and diverse perspectives and is inclusive of all Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people no matter where they are
- recognizes Indigenous peoples' right to self-determination
- utilizes a decolonizing approach, including being culturally informed and culturally safe
- is co-developed, co-implemented and co-managed
- builds on evidence and is sustainable and evergreen
The timeline of the national action plan
2015 to 2016: Establishing the national inquiry
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
- knowledge keepers
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 national inquiry's research was considerable and extensive. This body of work is now reflected in the final report's quality, thoughtful and respectful findings.
June 3 2019: Calls for Justice
After two and a half years of work, the national inquiry released its final report in June 2019. Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls documents this work, and contains 231 Calls for Justice calling upon various organizations, governments, civil society actors, and individuals to take action to end the causes of this violence:
- all federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments
- health care
- child welfare
- correctional services
June 29, 2019: Métis perspectives and 62 Calls for Miskotahâ
In response to the national inquiry's final report, and to supplement the 29 Métis-specific Calls for Justice, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak released its own report, entitled Métis Perspectives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and LGBTQ2S+ People (PDF Version, 5,98 MB, 119 pages) which includes 62 Calls for Change or Miskotahâ (pronounced "Mis-KO-ta-ha").
June 3, 2021: Responding with a plan for action
The Government of Canada, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments and Indigenous partners, families and survivors were called upon to work together to respond to the issues identified by the national inquiry's final report and its Calls for Justice, as well as the 62 calls for Miskotahâ from Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak. Together, a national action plan to end the systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people was co-developed.
On June 3, 2021, the national action plan was released. As one component of the national action plan, the Government of Canada developed the federal pathway. It outlines the Government of Canada's commitments, contributions and planned actions to end violence against Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
June 3, 2022: Re-affirm priorities and continuing to engage
For the first anniversary of the national action plan, the Government of Canada re-affirms its commitment to end the violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people by releasing the federal pathway annual progress report. This report outlines the work we've done since in last year and the work we still need to do.
Engagement is ongoing with partners, including with Indigenous representative organizations and governments to address the violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and to ensure that progress continues.
While some progress has been made to address systemic forms of violence, the Government of Canada recognizes that so much more work must be done. Our close work with national action plan partners, families and survivors and Indigenous governments and organizations will ensure we continue to move ahead in the right direction. We will continue to respect and honour all of the experiences shared during the National Inquiry and beyond.
Since the release of national inquiry's final report, funding has been provided to Indigenous organizations to support engagement with their members, including families and survivors, and to identify priorities and mechanisms for implementation.
Work structure when national action plan was built
Who was involved in developing the national action plan
The national action plan was co-developed with:
- families and survivors
- Indigenous governments and organizations
- federal, provincial and territorial governments
- 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations and leaders
- grassroots organizations
- subject-matter experts
The Core Working Group
The Core Working Group and the National Family and Survivors Circle were central to the process. They worked together to support the working groups by coordinating and validating their efforts. The working groups provided their input and feedback into the Core Working Group. The Core Working Group was 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
- Valerie Royle, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture and Deputy Minister of the Women's Directorate for the Government of Yukon.
Even though the Core Working Group's work was completed in June 2021, participants and participating organizations continue to be involved in the national action plan as contributing partners.
The working groups
The sub-working groups developed sections that together form the national action plan. Every contribution from the working groups represents a unique perspective that is considered carefully on its own and in the context of the whole plan.
Partner organizations and governments participated in the working groups that included over 100 Indigenous women as well as members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. These working groups were:
- the federal working group
- the provincial and territorial working group
- the urban working group
- the 2SLGBTQQIA+ working group
- the First Nations working group
- the Inuit working group
- the Métis working group
- the data working group
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
- Alberta Joint Working Group on MMIWG
- Ontario Indigenous Women's Advisory Council
- 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