OTTAWA, UNCEDED ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, ON, May 4, 2023 /CNW/ - Indigenous Peoples, particularly women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people (MMIWG2S+), experience violence at a much higher rate than other populations in Canada. The disappearance and murder of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada is an ongoing national crisis, which is due to the intergenerational trauma and marginalization caused by colonial policies rooted in racism and discrimination.
Today, Carol McBride, President of the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, are highlighting the expansion of NWAC's Safe Passage initiative with new online tools, as well as the establishment of the Safe Passage Women's Safety Council.
Safe Passage is a community-driven, trauma-informed and survivor-centered safety initiative created and led by NWAC. The initiative tracks MMIWG2S+ cases, monitors ongoing safety concerns, provides distinctions-based safety resources, educates the public and media, and commemorates and honours the stolen loved ones of Indigenous people and families.
Last year, NWAC established the Safe Passage Women's Safety Council, comprised of representatives from NWAC's provincial and territorial member associations across the country, that will inform NWAC programming to support the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people, as well as develop and deliver industry training, monitor ongoing safety concerns, and develop content for educational purposes.
In addition to the establishment of the Safe Passage Women's Safety Council, NWAC has also expanded it's Safe Passage web platform to include:
- a new Unsafe Experiences Reporting Tool and Map that enables community members to anonymously share information about unsafe experiences and track unsafe location hotspots;
- a Safe Passage Community Resources Map, which provides distinctions-based safety resources that can be filtered by region and resource type;
- stories shared by survivors and families of missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people, to recenter their voices and perspectives so they can be heard, believed, and valued; and,
- registration for journalists to receive alerts and regular updates to help amplify MMIWG2S+ cases.
This important initiative will increase the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people. Indigenous Services Canada supported this work with an investment of $1.2 million through the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative.
"Funding support for this project has helped NWAC to move forward on this critically important project that will ultimately help save lives. Our Safety Council and Safe Passage projects lie at the heart of our advocacy and commitment to ending the MMIWG2S+ genocide and the overwhelming violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender and gender-diverse people, while continuing to centre and amplify the voices and knowledge of those directly impacted by the MMIWG2S+ genocide: families and survivors."
President of the Native Women's Association of Canada
"To end the violence that far too many Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people experience will take sustained efforts from all levels of government and from all communities. The work must include Indigenous-led solutions that are robust and holistic. One such program is the Safe Passage initiative, led by NWAC. Now, with funding from Indigenous Services Canada, NWAC has a Women's Safety Council and new online tools that include community resources, a way to report unsafe experiences, and registration for journalists who wish to receive alerts to help amplify MMIWG2S+ cases. Every effort to protect Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people matters and the Government of Canada is a partner in ensuring this valuable work can continue and grow."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
- The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous organizations, families, survivors and communities across the country to make progress on the Federal Pathway and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan.
- The acronym 2SLGBTQI+ refers to people who are Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or intersex.
- The Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative is providing $120 million over 5 years to assist First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and partners, both on and off-reserve, to implement Indigenous-designed projects to improve community safety and well-being.
Join the conversation about Indigenous Peoples in Canada:
You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.isc.gc.ca/RSS.
SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
For further information: For more information, media may contact: Andrew MacKendrick, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, [email protected]; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160, [email protected]; Joan Wienman, Native Women's Association of Canada, [email protected]