You are here
Home > News > Canada’s national action plan lacks tangible action

Canada’s national action plan lacks tangible action

The federal government’s national action plan into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls was panned during a virtual press conference last Thursday, June 3, with critics saying it lacked concrete action, clear financial commitments and timelines.

The 113-page plan was released two years to the day after the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) on June 3, 2019.

The plan was developed through a collaboration between the federal and provincial governments, the National Families and Survivor Circle, and Indigenous communities.

“Canada’s failure to provide a proper plan lies at the responsibility of federal and provincial governments,” said Dr. Pamela Palmater, chair in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University.

Along with the national plan, the Trudeau government also issued a 30-page “federal pathway” report focused on what the government of Canada intends to do to end violence against Indigenous women and girls.

In 2019, the national inquiry released 231 calls for justice for what it said amounted to genocide against Indigenous women and girls.

The inquiry revealed colonization and policies rooted in assimilation as being at the core of the crisis.

The document highlighted that it is not intended to be a final plan, but one that is “evergreen and requires monitoring and reporting on progress.”

“The last thing I want to hear in this country is that we have evergreen genocide,” said Palmater.

“I don’t see anything in the federal pathway specifically or in the national action plan where Canada has stepped forward in a concrete way.”

Moreover, several of the speakers in the news conference said that they had not been consulted and that the process should have been more open and transparent.

The plan includes 23 short term priorities such as launching public education campaigns, the creation of shelters, sustainable housing, establishing oversight bodies to represent families and survivors’ complaints, and a national task force to re-investigate unresolved files.

“Justice delayed is still justice denied,” said Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, secretary-treasurer of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

“We can’t wait three years for some of these priorities to be handed down.”

She cited the lack of prevention measures as another source of major concern.

“We need the prevention aspect. It is so important because a lot of the women and two-spirited people in those difficult situations need that assistance now, not in three years and not on a reactionary basis,” she explained.

Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, the president of the Ontario Native Women’s Association and activist Sharon McIvor, also took issue with the government’s nation-to-nation approach as it ultimately excluded many Indigenous women and girls and people living with disabilities.

“Let’s be clear. What was issued today was not a national action plan,” said Shelagh Day, chair of the human rights committee for the Feminist Alliance for International Action.

“We were looking for and expecting concrete actions with responsibilities, assigned timelines, and resource allocation. That is not what we have here. What we have is some restatements of some of the calls for justice, but not a lot more.”

On June 1, the Native Women’s Association of Canada released its own action plan after stepping away from the federal government’s plan.

The organization called the government’s process “toxic and dysfunctional” on Twitter.

“You have such an important document. And the main associations in the country were left out in the development of that plan,” said Lynne Groulx, the chief executive officer of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

She said that the federal pathway was broad and general and lacked the necessary specificities to keep the government accountable.

“Our membership clearly said to us that they want the 231 legal imperatives addressed, and that was not done here,” she said.

[email protected]


Dear Readers:

As an essential service that is still open during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Eastern Door is fighting hard to keep news like this flowing, in our print product, though an online subscription at and here, for free, on our website and Facebook.

But when a large portion of our regular revenue has disappeared due to so many other businesses being closed, our circulation being affected by the same issue, and all of our specials canceled until the end of the year, we are looking for alternative ways to keep operations going, staff paid, and the paper out every Friday for you to enjoy.

Please consider a financial contribution to help us keep doing what we do best; telling the stories of our people in a contemporary medium – a solid, continuing archive that documents our cherished, shared history. Your kind donation will go to a newspaper that stands as the historical record, in-depth, informative and award-winning news; colourful stories, and a big boost to the local economy by employing 95 percent local workers.

Also, please consider subscribing to our e-edition, which comes out Thursday night, at today, or pick up your copy Friday morning in Kahnawake, Kanesatake or Chateauguay. Akwesasne delivery has been suspended due to the pandemic and border issues.

We exercise real freedom of the press every single day. Without our reporters fighting for the truth our community would be missing a whole lot of facts, separated from gossip and rumors.

E-transfers are accepted and very much appreciated at: [email protected]

Maintained By WordPress Website Support