The Yukon’s first Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ Accountability Forum takes place in Whitehorse
The Yukon Advisory Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+( MMIWG2S+) hosted the first Accountability Forum on May 18 to 19 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse and online.
Partners and contributors to Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice: Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy discussed a variety of initiatives happening across the territory, including community safety and policing, safe and affordable housing and strengthening cultural connections for Indigenous children and youth. Participants from across the territory built momentum for the work ahead to end violence against Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ people.
The Yukon Advisory Committee also released their 10 priorities from the strategy, which represent critical and timely work that can be done to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirit+ Yukoners. These are:
- Increase community and land-based infrastructure and programming, including after-care and development of camps and facilities.
- Explore options to consider the application of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of Yukon’s modern treaties and evolving relationship with First Nations governments without agreements.
- Complete community safety assessments, plans and implementation.
- Improve victim-centred and crisis-responsive supports for victims of gender-based violence and sexualized assault.
- Eliminate violence related to development projects and improve the positive benefits of resource extraction and major infrastructure projects for Indigenous women and Yukon communities.
- Appropriately and safely meet the needs of Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirit+ people for safe housing and freedom from poverty.
- Provide adequate, long-term funding for Indigenous women’s organizations that is informed by a co-developed funding assessment process,
- Embed an accountability framework into the Yukon’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ Strategy.
- Establish a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ trust fund for families and survivors.
- Commemoration of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ including restoring graves, fencing, and markers.
The gathering on May 19 of all partners and contributors followed a day of ceremony, gathering and reconnecting for all families and survivors on May 18.
It has been an honour to be part of bringing this important work to the forefront. I look forward to the next steps on this journey to ensure equality, safety and respect of all Indigenous Women, Girls and Two- spirit+ people and for systems to begin to change to protect people now and in the future.
Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill
It was inspiring to meet with partners and contributors over the course of this Accountability Forum. It is important that we continue working together in partnership in a way that puts families and survivor’s knowledge and experience at the forefront.
Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society Executive Director Ann Maje Raider
Today has been a powerful testament to the strength and resilience of our communities. It is with humility, and in the spirit of truth, justice and reconciliation that we will continue to work together to end violence against Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ people. This Accountability Forum provided a unique opportunity for our partners and contributors to share with Yukoners some of the work underway with families and survivors of violence and the steps we can take to continue support them and better protect Indigenous women and girls in our communities.
Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean
- In December 2020, the Yukon Advisory Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ launched Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice, Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy. This strategy represents a 10 to 15 year plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirit+ people.
- The Yukon was the first jurisdiction to release a strategy in response to Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
- This Accountability Forum supports Action Item 4.6 from Yukon’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit+ Strategy – “MMIWG2+ Strategy Accountability Framework: Embed an accountability framework into the strategy to ensure that MMIWG2S+ families, survivors, partners, contributors and all Yukon communities continue to be included and involved”.
Communications, Women and Gender Equity Directorate