'It hurts my heart': Family, advocates speak out about lack of action on MMIWG Inquiry’s final report
WINNIPEG -- June 3 will mark one year since the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls final report was presented to the Federal Government — and a year later some say nothing has changed.
The report outlined 230 recommendations, calling for transformative change to end violence against Indigenous women and girls.
Community leaders, advocates, and family of the victims, say one year later they aren’t satisfied.
“I had faith a year ago, when they told me the inquiry was going to be announced, the way they spoke it lifted my spirits, but now I see that nothing has changed, it hurts my heart,” said Thelma Favel, Tina Fontaine’s great aunt.
Fontaine’s body was found in the Red River, wrapped in a blanket, weighed down by rocks.
Her death in 2014 renewed calls to conduct the inquiry.
“I feel even more disappointed, I feel like the government just wasted a lot of money on this inquiry if they weren’t going to do anything about it,” said Favel.
One of the report's recommendations was to create and implement a national action plan.
Hilda Anderson-Pyrs is the co-chair of the MMIWG Manitoba Coalition.
“I’m a little disheartened because this process was a very difficult journey for many,” said Anderson-Pyrs, who lost her sister in 2011, and shared her story as part of the Inquiry.
She says she’s seen little action on the recommendations made in the report. She’s hopeful the government will move forward with meaningful change, but says so far, she hasn’t seen much.
“We need that change to occur, we can no longer wait, governments need to act to end this genocide against Indigenous women and girls and two-spirited and gender diverse people,” said Anderson-Pyrs.
In a statement, The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Arlen Dumas said the government's failure to deliver on the action plan is yet another disappointment.
“For Canada to drag its feet on providing safety for our women, girls, and LGBT citizens, while being aware of the underlying societal issues and challenges that First Nations women, girls and LGBT peoples continue to face, is unacceptable.”
In an email to CTV News, the Office of the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations said it’s working to end this ongoing national tragedy.
It said all governments are called on to work together to develop a national action plan.