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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published on June 1, 2023
(OTTAWA) If it was a school report card, the federal government would be given an ‘F’ for fail. That is the conclusion of a detailed analysis by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) in its annual review of the progress made by the federal government on the implementation of its National Action Plan (NAP). The analysis also assesses action taken by NWAC on its independent National Action Plan, Our Calls, Our Actions, which receives a much higher score.
The annual scorecards were issued today, in advance of the June 3 anniversary of the release of the two national action plans, dating back to 2021, in response to the National Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice.
The results this year provide a stark picture of the government’s progress in addressing the safety needs of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and bringing about justice for the families and communities impacted by the ongoing MMIWG2S+ genocide.
“We are disappointed to report that our annual scorecard shows that the federal government has gone another year without meaningful action to end the genocide,” said NWAC’s CEO, Lynne Groulx. “The federal government’s lack of action is baffling considering both the clear recommendations of the National Inquiry into MMIWG’s 231 Calls for Justice and the strong public support to address the epidemic of gender-based violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.”
A national survey commissioned by NWAC and conducted by Nanos Research last month reveals that an overwhelming 80-percent of Canadians polled want the Government of Canada to take action to provide justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse people.
“Canadians are over two times more likely to rate the job done by the Government of Canada as poor rather than good when it comes to ending the ongoing national tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG),” according to the national poll, a worsening opinion since the last survey conducted in the fall of 2022.
“The discrepancy between the public’s priorities and the government’s actions suggests there is a concerning lack of political will to end systemic racism and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Canada. We are deeply concerned about the message this sends about Canada’s commitment to reconciliation and the value the government places on the lives of Indigenous Peoples,” said Ms. Groulx.
NWAC’s National Action Plan Our Calls, Our Actions was released at the same time as the government’s plan with more than double the number of proposed actions. This year’s scorecard finds that, over the past year, NWAC has made progress on 96.9-percent of the 66 actions outlined in its plan, with only 2 actions showing little or no progress. This is a major contrast to the government’s scorecard that shows a 46.6-percent rate of inaction on the part of the federal government to accomplish or make significant progress on its own goals.
Instead of tangible actions, the federal government continues to rely on the optics of funding commitments directed towards the Calls for Justice. Yet, as the scorecard points out, funding allocations do not equal progress on their own and are difficult to track without adequate accountability mechanisms. In fact, as our analysis points out, we have seen instances where critical funding goes unspent altogether.
NWAC’s assessment of its own yearly progress putting its plan into action highlights significant work addressing the pathways to violence and strong results when it comes to the advocacy, awareness raising, and accountability needed to end the MMIWG2S+ genocide. Faced with worsening violence, NWAC once again took matters into our own hands by expanding our Safe Passage platform, a community-driven resource that maps experiences of violence and available community resources, and tirelessly advocating for a Red Dress Alert System.
“Considering our limited means, we are immensely proud of the progress we’ve made on our Action Plan, and we are committed to carrying out the sustained action necessary to support violence prevention, justice, and healing,” said Ms. Groulx.
“We cannot underestimate the continued effort needed to stop this genocide and heal the trauma of its legacy,” Ms. Groulx added, noting that more cases of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people were being reported in the two months that NWAC was completing the scorecards. “This genocide is real. It is ongoing. How many more names must we add to the list of missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people before the government is going to take serious action?”
Considering the dismal progress made this year by the government on its National Action Plan, NWAC is calling for the federal government to publicly address their failing grade. Among other recommendations, NWAC’s scorecard also demands that the government, in consultation with Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples, develop an actionable implementation plan and establish the accountability mechanisms they have committed to in their NAP to ensure progress is measured moving forward.
“It’s time for the federal government to recognize and take accountability for the fact that their National Action Plan was fundamentally flawed from the outset. It isn’t enough to express hopes and goals to end the violence without a measurable, costed plan to make these a reality,” said Ms. Groulx.
You can access the Scorecard publications here:
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About The Native Women’s Association of Canada
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls, transgender, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canada societies.
À propos de l'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada
L'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada (AFAC) est une organisation autochtone nationale qui représente la voix politique des femmes, des filles, des transgenres, des bispirituels et des personnes de sexe différent au Canada, y compris les membres des Premières nations vivant dans les réserves et hors réserve, les Indiens inscrits et non inscrits, les personnes privées de leurs droits, les Métis et les Inuits. Regroupant des organisations de femmes autochtones de tout le pays, l'AFAC a été fondée dans le but collectif d'améliorer, de promouvoir et de favoriser le bien-être social, économique, culturel et politique des femmes autochtones au sein de leurs communautés respectives et des sociétés canadiennes.