Implement the MMIWG2S+ Strategy especially, funding for community mental health supports and traditional wellness supports such as land and culture-based healing centres. Ensure supports are gender responsive and focused on trauma and violence informed care.
What is the challenge?
The rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks are much higher than for non-Indigenous women in Canada. Perpetrators of violence include family members, partners, casual acquaintances, and serial killers.
More than 6 in 10 Indigenous women have experienced physical or sexual assault, and Indigenous women are 12 times more likely to be killed or abducted than any other woman.
Indigenous women and girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+folks, are more vulnerable to violence because of the effects of colonialism and racism in our country. The intergenerational impacts of racism, residential school, the 60s scoop, as well as the negative stereotypes, and marginalization they continue to endure today mean they are more likely to experience poverty, homelessness, substance use, mental health struggles and more. Each of these factors alone, and collectively, increase a person’s risk of and vulnerability to violence. Many of these same factors including racism, and trauma, are relevant to perpetrators of violence. Healing and ending racism are critical pieces of the puzzle to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks, both in reducing their vulnerability to violence, and in ending the violence caused by men.
After many, many years of advocacy from family members and communities, the Government of Canada established the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2016. In 2020 Yukon released the MMIWG2S+ Strategy, the first in Canada.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN:
Although the Yukon has a MMIWG2S+ Strategy, and was the first jurisdiction to develop one in Canada, the action seems to have stopped there. We need this strategy to be implemented NOW with a focus on:
- Core funding for Indigenous Women’s Organizations;
- Creation and expansion of community mental health supports (not just Yukon government options);
- Land-based and traditional healing options for men and women to stop the cycle of violence;
- Ongoing funding for targeted, data-informed violence prevention strategies run by local women’s organizations.
WHAT CAN YOU DO:
- Call on your MLA to lobby Yukon government to fund community-based organizations like the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council and Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle, Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, Council of Yukon First Nations, and others to offer community based and land-based healing programs that are not operated by Yukon government.
- Educate yourself about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in and racism in Canada
- Participate in healing programs if they are offered.