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Why CHF Canada staff are reading the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report

Published October 23, 2019

In June 2019, the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) was released.

This summer, a group of CHF Canada staff formed a reading group to read and discuss the report.

Meeting once a week to look at a different section of the report’s Executive Summary, staff shared what we learned, and how it challenged our assumptions and spurred us to learn more and take action.

The report shows not only the extent of the violence First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people face, but also how they’re working to heal their communities, and how we can all take action to end this systemic violence.

The report shares 231 calls for justice. Some of them are for specific sectors, like health care or education, but there is also a section of “Calls for All Canadians”. This section tells us how each of us can help, regardless of who we are, where we live, or what kind of work we do.

At our 2018 AGM, our members passed a resolution calling on CHF Canada to develop a plan for reconciliation and to encourage our members to reflect upon and take action towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in their housing co-operatives and in their communities.

The first steps in this process are to listen and learn.

Here’s what we thought:

“I was surprised how much it touched me.”

– Salam Kawadri, Accounting Assistant

“I read a lot about issues affecting First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, but it can be hard to know how to best translate that into concrete support for Indigenous people and communities. I appreciate having the report’s clear calls to action as a guide.”

– Lee Pepper, Communications Co-ordinator

“After reading the report, I opened the dialogue on Truth and Reconciliation with people in my life. It made me realized how much I appreciate, and how meaningful it is, when Indigenous Peoples share their ceremonies, rituals and lands with me. In fact, I recently had the privilege of experiencing this again while in BC at the national lacrosse championships. It was so great to see the young men from the Ontario and First Nations teams taking part in a ritual, chanting in small steps in a circular motion together, to open up their game.  This showed the recognition, value and respect that has been missing for too long.”

– Patricia Tessier, Director, Member Services

What you can do:

  • Read the report. The full report is over 1,000 pages, but there is also an Executive Summary, which gives key points from the report in 121 pages. If you only have a few minutes, we recommend reading the Calls for all Canadians.
  • Look at the art shared by participants in the Inquiry. The commission accepted written and spoken testimony, but also encouraged people to share the impact of the MMIWG crisis through art, which you can look at online.
  • Listen to the Truth Sharing Podcasts, which show how people and communities affected by the MMIWG crisis are working to heal.

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