OTTAWA, March 6, 2018 /CNW/ - The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement today:
"Today we received a formal request from the Commission for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls for an extension to its mandate. In the coming weeks, I will be discussing this request with families, Indigenous partners, provincial and territorial counterparts and my Cabinet colleagues.
Our government is committed to ending the ongoing national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The Independent Commission's mandate is clear – families must be at the centre of their work. The families of these women and girls need answers to the systemic and institutional failures that lead to the murder of so many Indigenous women. We are committed to getting them the concrete recommendations they have been waiting for, and putting an end to this ongoing tragedy.
We are also taking immediate action. The Minister of Status of Women is leading It's Time: Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, which invests in cultural competency training for federal law enforcement officers, and provides important program funding for at-risk populations, including Indigenous women and girls. The Minister of Indigenous Services is overseeing historic investments in housing, education and the total reform of child and family services with a focus on prevention, ensuring children are raised in their language and culture and reuniting families. Together with the Minister of Health, she is responding to the need for healing and mental health and addiction services. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is undertaking a broad review of the criminal justice system, that in part, is looking at ways to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous women and girls as victims of crime.
Shortly, we will respond to the recommendations of the Interim Report of the Commission and we will outline further actions."
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160