The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) released its final report on June 03, 2023 from the MMIWG2S+ National Gathering. The event brought survivors of gender-based violence, and families of missing or murdered loved ones together in Vancouver from February 14-16, 2023.
“Connecting Hearts and Making Change” builds on a national report, “Breathing Life into the Calls for Justice: An Action Plan to End Violence Against First Nations Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People” tabled in 2021. It incorporates feedback collected from families and survivors during regional breakout sessions held at the National Gathering. It includes suggestions for supporting survivors and families, keeping First Nations women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people safe, as well as healing individuals and First Nations affected by the crisis.
The release of the report coincides with the fourth anniversary of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the final report which included 231 Calls for Justice. “Four years later and little has changed,” said AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald. “First Nations Women and Girls are still facing violence at alarming rates. Calls for Justice remain unanswered. More action must be taken to protect our women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. This report offers concrete steps that all levels of government can take to offer that protection. No more stolen sisters.”
The final report outlines a families-first and trauma-informed approach to addressing the crisis. It offers recommendations in four key areas: Justice, Human Security, Health and Wellness, and Culture, with specific recommendations for funding and resources.
“To the courageous survivors, family members and others who attended the gathering to share their experiences and suggestions: we hear you. We see you. We will continue to call for justice and the supports needed to address this crisis,” said AFN Women’s Council Chair and Ocean Man First Nation Chief Connie Big Eagle. “Your voices are powerful. Together we will work to end violence against our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunties.”
First Nations-In-Assembly have guided the development of these reports.
Resolution 67/2019 – Development and Implementation of a National Action Plan on Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ was adopted in July 2019. The resolution directed the AFN to seek appropriate resources and funding for the AFN Women’s Council to engage with First Nations on a National Action Plan and develop a First Nations women-led National Action Plan with input from the regions and First Nations survivors, families, and grassroots family coalitions.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.