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On May 28, the homicide of a 31-year-old Indigenous woman, Tessa Perry, occurred in Winnipeg. This was the third in less than a month.

On May 25, a vigil was held for 25-year-old Doris Trout. She was a young Cree woman from Gods Lake Narrows First Nation who had been missing for more than a month before she was found killed in a Winnipeg apartment complex.

On May 19, a vigil was held for 24-year-old Rebecca Contois, an Indigenous woman whose life was also needlessly and cruelly taken in Winnipeg.

Three deaths in three weeks in one city.

It is a horrifying reality that Tessa, Doris, and Rebecca now tragically join the hundreds of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people across the country who have gone missing, were murdered, or experienced violence in the past year.

June 3 marks the anniversary of the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan, and the knowledge that the families of Tessa, Doris, and Rebecca, among so many others, face a lifetime without their loved ones begs the question — where is the action?

When the National Family and Survivors Circle was asked to contribute to the National Action Plan, we recognized the potential significance of the document. Here was a long overdue opportunity to develop solutions to a genocide that has been allowed to continue for decades by the state, to reaffirm how all governments (including Indigenous governments), institutions, organizations, industries, and individuals are responsible for fulfilling the 231 Calls for Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and to fully include family members and survivors in the development of Indigenous-led, decolonized policies and pathways for transformative change.

But a year later, it is still difficult to track how many of the 231 Calls for Justice have been fulfilled, leading to valid fears that enough isn’t being done.

The 231 "Calls for Justice are interconnected legal imperatives; they are not optional." However, there is currently no mechanism to track progress on their fulfillment despite many of them, including Calls for Justice 1.5, 1.7, 1.10, and 5.24, specifically citing the need for accountability measures and improved data collection to be in place immediately.

June 3 marks the anniversary of the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan. Where is the action? asks @Handersonpyrz. #MMIWG2S #DayofAction #231CallsforJustice #TimeForAction #PoliticalWill

This is not just shameful — it’s dangerous. Each day of inaction results in the tragic loss of human life and further violence, with an alarmingly disproportionate number of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people being murdered, harmed, or going missing. A recent Statistics Canada report confirmed what we’ve known for decades — that while Indigenous women represent approximately five per cent of women in Canada, they represent almost one-quarter (24 per cent) of all women homicide victims between 2015 and 2020. In addition, more than six in 10 Indigenous women experience either physical or sexual assault in their lifetimes.

The need for accountability is more urgent than ever to address this national crisis. It must start with political will. All governments and institutions must be held accountable to their responsibility to the 231 Calls for Justice. These are legal imperatives. Political will ensures concrete actions, clear timelines, and measurable outcomes to implement the National Action Plan.

These obligations include fulfilling Call for Justice 1.7, which demands federal, provincial, and territorial governments (in partnership with Indigenous Peoples) establish a national Indigenous and human rights ombudsperson and a national Indigenous and human rights tribunal. This will begin providing the oversight necessary to ensure the 231 Calls for Justice are being accomplished using a decolonized approach that recognizes human, inherent, and treaty rights.

Accountability doesn’t just end with governments. Every Canadian has a responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Call for Justice 15.8 calls on all Canadians to help hold all governments accountable to act on the 231 Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the important principles that were set out in the final report.

That report stated, “The steps to end and redress this genocide must be no less monumental than the combination of systems and actions that has worked to maintain colonial violence for generations.” We remind Canadians that the steps to ending race- and gender-based violence and genocide exist. Without concrete timelines, resource commitments, and accountability measures, the National Action Plan will simply remain a hopeful framework rather than a mechanism to achieve transformative change.

Ultimately, we as Canadians are all responsible for holding systems and society accountable and taking action to keep Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people safe and protected. It is more critical than ever for today to be a Day of Action to redress and urgently implement the National Action Plan and the 231 Calls for Justice. This will build pathways for future generations, so they do not have to endure the same violence and harms that thousands of victims and their families have experienced.

Anything less will perpetuate the genocide, gender-based violence, and the human cost faced by Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, families, and survivors.

Hilda Anderson-Pyrz is the chair of the National Family and Survivors Circle, which is comprised of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ families and survivors who use their lived experience and expertise to advocate and provide guidance on pathways for the full inclusion of families and survivors in the work to end gender- and race-based violence. For the past 20 years, Anderson-Pyrz has been a fierce and tireless advocate for ending gender- and race-based violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @nfscircle

Facebook: National Family and Survivors Circle

Instagram: @familysurvivorscircle

Hashtags: #231CallsforJustice #MMIWG2s

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