June 03, 2020

Government of Saskatchewan Acknowledges the First Anniversary of the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Today Saskatchewan marked the solemn one-year anniversary of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

The Final Report raised awareness about the tragedy that has affected multiple generations of Indigenous people including women, girls and those of diverse genders and sexual orientations.

“Our government supports and values the meaningful and important work of the National inquiry,” Justice Minister Don Morgan said.  “The Inquiry provided a crucial voice to missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.  We owe it to past, present and future generations to work together to prevent violence and ensure safer communities.”

Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs Lori Carr announced that this year 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.

Special consideration will be given to applications for initiatives addressing the vulnerabilities within society that lead to risks for inter-personal violence.  This will help advance MMIWG Call for Justice 15.1, which highlights the importance of denouncing violence against Indigenous women, girls and people of diverse genders and sexual orientations.

“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,” Carr said.

Interested organizations should contact fnmr@gov.sk.ca or call 306-798-0183 about their potential projects and for application information.

The Government of Saskatchewan continues to address the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls through the following supports and programs.  The Ministry of Justice coordinates policy, legislation, and supports for families of missing persons, including Indigenous women and girls, through the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons (PPCMP).

The PPCMP is a unique Saskatchewan partnership which includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous community-based organizations; police; search and rescue; and several provincial ministries.  The Saskatchewan Coroners Service is working in collaboration with the Family Information Liaison Unit to assist families with finding the information they seek about their missing and murdered loved ones.  They have hired an Indigenous person to fill the position of Family Liaison Consultant.

The Ministry of Justice provides various service responses to address violence against aboriginal women and girls, including:

  • Three therapeutic family violence courts located in North Battleford, Regina and Saskatoon.
  • Victim Services provides support to all victims of violent crime, and has two programs that specifically respond to the needs of Aboriginal victims.
  • Three Missing Persons Liaison positions located in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.  The Missing Person Liaisons provide direct services to families of missing persons, as well as advice and training to all other police-based victim services in the province.
  • There are ten provincially funded transition houses, one of which is co-funded with the federal government.  There are also three additional federally funded residential services.

The province has also made it a priority to increase the representation and enhance the voices of First Nations and Métis people in the justice system.  As such, five judges who have self-declared as Indigenous have been appointed to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan since January 2018.  Three of them are women.