2) MMIWG INQUIRY ISSUES 231 "CALLS FOR JUSTICE"

The following are just a few of the recommendations issued by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

1.1 We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous governments (hereinafter “all governments”), in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, to develop and implement a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, as recommended in our Interim Report and in support of existing recommendations by other bodies of inquiry and other reports. As part of the National Action Plan, we call upon all governments to ensure that equitable access to basic rights such as employment, housing, education, safety, and health care is recognized as a fundamental means of protecting Indigenous and human rights, resourced and supported as rights-based programs founded on substantive equality.

1.4 We call upon all governments, and in particular Indigenous governments and Indigenous representative organizations, to take urgent and special measures to ensure that Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people are represented in governance and that their political rights are respected and upheld. We call upon all governments to equitably support and promote the role of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people in governance and leadership. These efforts must include the development of policies and procedures to protect Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people against sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and racism within political life.

1.5 We call upon all governments to immediately take all necessary measures to prevent, investigate, punish, and compensate for violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

1.7 We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, to establish a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson, with authority in all jurisdictions, and to establish a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal. The ombudsperson and tribunal must be independent of governments and have the authority to receive complaints from Indigenous individuals as well as Indigenous communities in relation to Indigenous and human rights violations, and to conduct thorough and independent evaluations of government services for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people and communities to determine compliance with human and Indigenous rights laws. The ombudsperson and the tribunal must be given sufficient resources to fulfill their mandates and must be permanent.

1.8 We call upon all governments to create specific and long-term funding, available to Indigenous communities and organizations, to create, deliver, and disseminate prevention programs, education, and awareness campaigns designed for Indigenous communities and families related to violence prevention and combatting lateral violence. Core and sustainable funding, as opposed to program funding, must be provided to national and regional Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA people’s organizations.

2.1 We call upon all governments to acknowledge, recognize, and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their cultures and languages as inherent rights, and constitutionally protected as such under section 35 of the Constitution.

2.2 We call upon all governments to recognize Indigenous languages as official languages, with the same status, recognition, and protection provided to French and English.

2.3 We call upon all governments to ensure that all Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people are provided with safe, no-barrier, permanent, and meaningful access to their cultures and languages in order to restore, reclaim, and revitalize their cultures and identities. These are rights held by all segments of Indigenous communities, from young children to Elders. The programs and services that provide such access should not be tied exclusively to government-run cultural or educational institutions. All governments must further ensure that the rights of Indigenous children to retain and be educated in their Indigenous language are upheld and protected. All governments must ensure access to immersion programs for children from preschool into post-secondary education.

3.2 We call upon all governments to provide adequate, stable, equitable, and ongoing funding for Indigenous-centred and community-based health and wellness services that are accessible and culturally appropriate, and meet the health and wellness needs of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The lack of health and wellness services within Indigenous communities continues to force Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to relocate in order to access care. Governments must ensure that health and wellness services are available and accessible within Indigenous communities and wherever Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people reside.

4.1 We call upon all governments to uphold the social and economic rights of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by ensuring that Indigenous Peoples have services and infrastructure that meet their social and economic needs. All governments must immediately ensure that Indigenous Peoples have access to safe housing, clean drinking water, and adequate food.

4.2 We call upon all governments to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination in the pursuit of economic social development. All governments must support and resource economic and social progress and development on an equitable basis, as these measures are required to uphold the human dignity, life, liberty, and security of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. All governments must support and resource community-based supports and solutions designed to improve social and economic security, led by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. This support must come with long-term, sustainable funding designed to meet the needs and objectives as defined by Indigenous Peoples and communities.

4.5 We call upon all governments to establish a guaranteed annual livable income for all Canadians, including Indigenous Peoples, to meet all their social and economic needs. This income must take into account diverse needs, realities, and geographic locations.

4.6 We call upon all governments to immediately commence the construction of new housing and the provision of repairs for existing housing to meet the housing needs of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. This construction and provision of repairs must ensure that Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people have access to housing that is safe, appropriate to geographic and cultural needs, and available wherever they reside, whether in urban, rural, remote, or Indigenous communities.

4.7 We call upon all governments to support the establishment and long-term sustainable funding of Indigenous-led low-barrier shelters, safe spaces, transition homes, secondstage housing, and services for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people who are homeless, near homeless, dealing with food insecurity, or in poverty, and who are fleeing violence or have been subjected to sexualized violence and exploitation. All governments must ensure that shelters, transitional housing, second-stage housing, and services are appropriate to cultural needs, and available wherever Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people reside.

4.8 We call upon all governments to ensure that adequate plans and funding are put into place for safe and affordable transit and transportation services and infrastructure for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people living in remote or rural communities. Transportation should be sufficient and readily available to Indigenous communities, and in towns and cities located in all of the provinces and territories in Canada.

5.3 We call upon the federal government to review and reform the law about sexualized violence and intimate partner violence, utilizing the perspectives of feminist and Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

5.4 We call upon all governments to immediately and dramatically transform Indigenous policing from its current state as a mere delegation to an exercise in self-governance and self-determination over policing. To do this, the federal government’s First Nations Policing Program must be replaced with a new legislative and funding framework, consistent with international and domestic policing best practices and standards, that must be developed by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

6.1 We call upon all media, news corporations and outlets, and, in particular, government funded corporations and outlets; media unions, associations, and guilds; academic institutions teaching journalism or media courses; governments that fund such corporations, outlets, and academic institutions; and journalists, reporters, bloggers, film producers, writers, musicians, music producers, and, more generally, people working in the entertainment industry to take decolonizing approaches to their work and publications in order to educate all Canadians about Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

7.1 We call upon all governments and health service providers to recognize that Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, including 2SLGBTQQIA people – are the experts in caring for and healing themselves, and that health and wellness services are most effective when they are designed and delivered by the Indigenous Peoples they are supposed to serve, in a manner consistent with and grounded in the practices, world views, cultures, languages, and values of the diverse Inuit, Métis, and First Nations communities they serve.

18.1 We call upon all governments and service providers to fund and support greater awareness of 2SLGBTQQIA issues, and to implement programs, services, and practical supports for 2SLGBTQQIA people that include distinctions-based approaches that take into account the unique challenges to safety for 2SLGBTQQIA individuals and groups.

(The above article is from the June 16-30, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)