NunatuKavut Welcomes Historic Final Report of National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women And Girls: Urges Government to Implement “Calls to Justice”
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) today formally presented its Final Report during a closing ceremony at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.
The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) received official legal standing and funding to participate in the institutional, knowledge-keeper and expert hearings around the National Inquiry. NCC representatives attended several truth gathering hearings and testified as an expert witness at a racism-themed hearing in Toronto in June 2018. That testimony highlighted the detrimental impact of institutional racism upon NunatuKavut Inuit girls, women, families and communities.
Following participation in the National Inquiry, NCC submitted a document that outlined recommendations that would have tangible and positive impact on the overall health and wellbeing of NunatuKavut Inuit and communities. The recommendations are a response to colonial violence perpetrated against NunatuKavut Inuit over many generations. NunatuKavut’s recommendations are consistent with the “calls for justice” in the National Inquiry’s Final Report, which reinforce the need for equity and equality for all Inuit.
NCC is, therefore, seeking immediate action from the Government of Canada in the following areas:
- Access to First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) programming: a clear indication from the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations of the eligibility of NunatuKavut Inuit for the FNIHB Program, and engagement with the Department of Indigenous Services to work with NCC to implement this program.
- Education: a commitment to fostering an education system for Nunatukavut communities and provincial schools that reflects the fundamental truths of the people of NunatuKavut, and work with NCC and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador on a priority basis to develop and implement a culturally relevant curriculum.
- Infrastructure: an investment in infrastructure in NunatuKavut communities to allow NCC to develop and deliver community health and wellness initiatives that promote safety and well-being for women and girls.
NCC looks forward to working with the Government of Canada on implementing these priority initiatives to see real and tangible benefits for NunatuKavut Inuit. NCC implores Canada to acknowledge the truths of Inuit by respecting the history and culture of women and girls who belong to NunatuKavut.
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“On behalf of the NunatuKavut Community Council, I thank the Commissioners for undertaking this profoundly important work. We especially thank all of the brave Indigenous people who participated and shared their stories. For decades, NCC has worked tirelessly to have our voices heard and to ensure that our people are respected in our place. Women and girls have disproportionately endured and suffered the atrocities of colonialist policies that serve to undermine the integrity and strength of our people for far too long. This Final Report, we believe, has the potential to inspire a renewed relationship with Canada that will see improved health, safety, security and wellbeing of all women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals in NunatuKavut.”
–Todd Russell, President of NCC
“We participated in this Inquiry with the understanding that our truths are necessary in order to enlighten a colonial history. These truths, our stories, connect us to our homes and places and it is this connection that will continue to strengthen our resolve as Inuit. The expectation is that our truths have been heard, will be validated and acted upon through a respectful relationship between Canada and NunatuKavut.”
— Amy Hudson, Manager of Research, Education and Culture
“Seeing the voice and truths of the NunatuKavut Inuit incorporated into the Final Report hopefully marks another step in a new relationship between the federal and provincial governments and the NunatuKavut Community Council. I am grateful to see the Inuit-specific recommendations in the Final Report, which, when implemented, will begin to address the voids in essential programs and services that currently exist in NunatuKavut Inuit communities.”
— Roy Stewart, Legal Counsel for NCC (Burchells LLP)
- The Government of Canada launched an independent National Inquiry into MMIWG in September 2016.
- The National Inquiry has three parts to its Truth Gathering Process. Part I focused on gathering information from families and survivors through Community Hearings and Statement Gathering events. Part II Institutional Hearings and Part III Knowledge Keeper and Expert Hearings gathered the testimony of Knowledge Keepers and experts such as government officials, academics, legal experts and community leaders.
- A total of 2,386 people participated in the Truth Gathering Process, 1,484 Family Members and Survivors provided Testimony, 819 Individuals shared through Artistic Expressions and 83 Experts, Knowledge-Keepers and Officials provided Testimony.
- NCC is the representative governing body for approximately 6,000 Inuit of NunatuKavut.
- NunatuKavut means “Our Ancient Land” in Inuttitut.
- In July 2018, NCC entered into talks with the Government of Canada on the recognition of its Indigenous rights and self-determination.
- To learn more about the National Inquiry into MMIWG or to download the report, please visit www.mmiwg-ffada.ca.
- For further information on NCC, please visit www.nunatukavut.ca. Please also join in the conversation at Facebook.com/nunatukavut and Twitter @nunatukavut.
Kelly Broomfield, Director of Communications
T: 709-280-5965; E: email@example.com