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Subjects: WOM, LGB, NTA, AVO, DEI

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak Expresses Grave Concerns Regarding the Inaction on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+

OTTAWA, ON, June 4, 2024 /CNW/ - Since the release of the National Inquiry Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and the related 231 Calls to Justice and Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak's "Métis Perspectives" report, which include 64 Calls to Miskotahâ, little movement has been made to ensure the safety and wellness of Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks.

Of all the calls in the reports, only two Calls to Justice have been completed to date. Movement has been made on other calls, however, not enough has been done to change the realities of Indigenous women across Canada. The reality is that our Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are still going missing and are being murdered.

Last week, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak brought together several Métis families of MMIWG2S+ together to share their experiences. The families were honoured and supported in ceremony by Knowledge Keepers from across the Métis Nation Motherland. Families shared their frustration around challenges experiences within many systems that they have interacted with in their search for justice for their loved ones.

Yesterday a memorial round dance was held in honour of families, survivors and ancestors impacted by the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people (MMIWG2S+) on the Parliament Hill lawn to mark the fifth anniversary of the Final Report of the National Inquiry. The powerful event was hosted by grassroots organizers, Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G) and Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS), with support from Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO), the MMIWG2S+ Urban Indigenous Action Group, and the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW).

The round dance opened with a pipe ceremony, followed by a small feast. Words were shared by Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA), Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equity (WAGE), Leah Gazan, New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Winnipeg-Centre, and the chair of the National Family and Survivor Circle (NFSC), Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, among others. Invited drummers and singers each performed four songs over the course of the afternoon, while round dancers circled around them. The event closed with a traditional giveaway and prayer. 

It is vitally important that we come back to our ceremonies for honouring and healing ourselves and communities. Events such as last week's honouring ceremony and yesterday's memorial round dance create spaces to gather in a good and unified way, so that we can demand more concrete action be taken to meaningfully address the social, economic and political conditions which facilitate the crisis of MMIWG2S+, now more than ever. LFMO calls upon all levels of government to refocus their efforts to fully and completely implement all Calls to Justice and Calls to Miskotahâ.

LFMO speaks as the national and international voice for Métis Women across the Métis Motherland, spanning Ontario westward to British Columbia. Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak aims to consult, promote and represent the personal, spiritual, social, cultural, political and economic interests and aspirations of Métis women and gender diverse people.

SOURCE Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak

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