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'They deserve justice': New MMIWG2S+ specialty license plates available across Manitoba

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Manitoba’s newest specialty license plates raising money for charity are now available to help families of MMIWG2S (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit).

The new plates, being sold in support of an MMIWG2S-related organization, are now on sale at all Autopac agencies across Manitoba. The announcement was made Friday by Housing, Addictions and Homelessness Minister Bernadette Smith.

The specialty plates were created after Smith introduced bill 204, which was unanimously supported by all parties in the Manitoba Legislature and received royal assent on May 30, 2023.

Some proceeds from licence plate sales will go to Ka Ni Kanichihk, a Winnipeg-based Indigenous-led organization that helps people through learning and healing programs grounded in traditional Indigenous knowledge and trauma-informed practices.

"Families in this room and across the territories have never received any justice," Smith said at the announcement, "They deserve justice."

"In 1998, my cousin Tanya Marsden was found in the Assiniboine River, tied down with a cement block around her legs three weeks after her 18th birthday," said Star Anderson at the announcement, "And still, as of today, our family has no answers."

The specialty plates cost $70 per set, in addition to regular vehicle insurance rates. Smith said $30 from each sale will support education costs for students from MMIWG2S families.

Smith also noted the plate design was chosen through community consultations and discussion with MMIWG2S family members to represent the resistance to violence committed against women and gender-diverse people.

"The hand and red dress depicted on these plates stands as a tribute to the lives tragically taken," said Smith.

"The red dress and hand on these plates are a powerful symbol of MMIWG2S stories, and for Indigenous families across the country," Anderson said.

Smith said if all 6,000 available plates are sold, it would raise approximately $180,000 for Ka Ni Kanichihk by springtime.

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