International Meetings and the Sisters in Spirit Vigil

Posted: New Initiatives:
Oct 12, 2023
  • Issue 17
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In this issue we are shining the spotlight on the MMIWG2s+ team’s participation in the Fifth Convening of the Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, our meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur Tomoya Obokata, and preparations for our annual Sisters in Spirit vigil.

UN Special Rapporteur Visit

The MMIWG2S+ team met with Tomoya Obokata, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, on August 25. We discussed the systemic causes of human trafficking. Our discussion focused particularly on the conditions of vulnerability for marginalized groups that exacerbate the rates of human trafficking, as well as the ongoing MMIWG2S+ genocide seen in incarceration rates, the child welfare system, disparities in housing quality, lack of adequate and safe transportation, and absence of a universal basic income. For instance, traffickers are known to target Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse individuals who are transitioning out of incarceration or aging out of the child welfare system, which means they have reached the age limit for government care.

Trilateral Working Group

The MMIWG2S+ team attended the Fifth Convening of the Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls (TWG) on September 6 and 7. Indigenous women leaders from Mexico, Canada, and the United States gathered to share knowledge and best practices as a commitment to coordinated action to address the disproportionate levels of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls across the continent. The focus will be on strengths-based and solutions-oriented best practices related to access to justice and the prevention of human trafficking of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse+ (WG2STGD+) people. We also highlighted Safe Passage as a promising initiative and shared information about its features. The Trilateral Working Group is comprised of grassroots and government representatives from each of the three countries.

Sisters in Spirit Vigil

Let's us this: On October 4, for our annual Sisters in Spirit vigil and events, we partnered with the YWCA to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous WG2STGD+ people, support grieving families, and create opportunities for healing.

The day’s events included workshops, a film viewing, a comforting hot chocolate station in the Rooftop Garden, an afternoon gathering with speeches and hot foods. These events were hosted in person and live-streamed through a virtual platform to participants attending remotely.