Sask. prof wants more to be done on one-year anniversary of MMIWG report
SASKATOON -- One year after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) was released, an activist and Indigenous studies professor at the University of Saskatchewan is calling for more work to be done.
“How much more paper do we need to shuffle at governments and put the families through agonizing moments before things will change,” said Priscilla Settee.
The National Inquiry travelled to communities across the country, hearing the stories of victims’ family members and made hundreds of recommendations to confront the issue.
The province marked the one year anniversary of the inquiry Wednesday, announcing the $300,000 First Nations and Métis Community Projects grant program will focus on locally-developed projects related to issues raised by the National Inquiry into MMIWG.
“This investment is to build upon the efforts of this Inquiry by funding Indigenous-led projects to help make this province we share a better place one step at a time,” Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs Lori Carr said in a news release.
However, Settee said that isn’t enough.
“Really what’s required is a whole-scale structural change in which the marginalized are no longer marginalized,” she said.
This is something the Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan is also pushing for.
Program director Alicia Buckley said they work with Indigenous women and girls as well as LGBTQ2S people.
One program addresses their economic security and prosperity, while the other is “reigniting sacred fires” and addressing awareness.
Buckley said safety is an everyday issue for Indigenous women and LGBTQ2S people.
“We really need to raise the voice and empower Indigenous women. We need to, as all Canadians, read and address and adopt the Missing and Murdered calls for justice and TRC calls to action.”
Settee agrees and adds that it’s also crucial that all Canadians address and acknowledge that racism exists in the country.
“They need to start making demands of their communities wherever they are, their churches, their places of employment, any place where they have small place to ensure accountability.”