B.C. Ministers Release Statement on National Roundtable on MMIW

Attendees sit around the sharing circle at the 2nd National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Winnipeg on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. The meeting brought together federal ministers, national Indigenous leaders, provincial and territorial premiers and ministers and families from across the country to discuss both the national inquiry, as well as actions governments can take now to begin to address the issue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

nationalmmiwPremiers, Provincial Ministers, and Aboriginal leaders met in Winnipeg last week for two days to discuss violence against Indigenous Women and girls.

Participants agreed to keep working on ways to improve life for aboriginal women.  “Ensuring the safety of indigenous women and girls is one of the defining issues of our time,” said British Columbia representatives Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton, and Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad said in a joint-statement.

Federal Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould (Justice), and Dr. Carolyn Bennett (Indigenous and Northern Affairs) represented the federal government.  They updated the group on preparations for a national Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women (M.M.I.W) set to begin later this year.

Victims’ families met with participants.  “Families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and Girls have shared with us powerful stories, and their recommendations for ending violence and achieving  justice,” Rustad and Anton said in their statement

Canadian Indigenous women make up 16% of all homicide victims, and 11% of missing cases.  Indigenous people make up 4.3% of Canada’s population.