Proponents say they are disappointed that so little progress has been made four years after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its 231 calls for justice.
For Heidi Spence, director of Manitoba’s MMIWG liaison unit Keewatinowi Okimakanak, the fact that so many of those calls have not yet started is “unacceptable.”
“I just shook my head,” Spence said. “There are still over 100 that haven’t even been looked at yet.”
CBC’s “Mother. Sister. Daughter.” project, which was released Monday, tracked the progress of those calls and found that more than half have not yet started – and only two are complete.
Spence said she wants to see more urgency from governments and others in the investigation’s final report to follow up on the calls.
“It’s about time that was implemented and taken very seriously,” she said.
“Families shouldn’t be begging for change.”
Lynne Groulx, chief executive officer of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, said her organization’s own annual review of the federal government’s progress on the calls has yielded an unsatisfactory rating to date.
“We are disappointed to report that our annual scorecard shows that the federal government has gone another year without meaningful action to end the genocide,” Groulx said in a June 1 press release.
“The lack of action from the federal government is mind-boggling.”
The Assembly of First Nations released a statement on Saturday deploring how little has been done to follow up on the inquiry’s calls to protect Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBT people.
“Four years later, little has changed,” National Chief RoseAnne Archibald said in the statement.
“This report provides concrete steps that all levels of government can take to provide that protection. No more stolen sisters.”
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said the government annual progress report on the federal path to addressing missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two minds shows an “unwavering commitment” by more than 20 federal departments and agencies to heeding the calls of the investigation.
“Nevertheless, it’s important for me to recognize that this work isn’t about reports or numbers or checking boxes. It’s about people,” Miller said during a speech in Ottawa on Monday, where he did not answer questions.
A spokesman for the Manitoba government said Eileen Clarke, provincial minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations, was unavailable for an interview on Monday due to her schedule.
Instead, the spokesman issued a statement saying the government is “committed to reconciliation” and responding to calls for justice in the investigation.
The statement also pointed to several actions the county has taken in response to the inquiry’s calls.