FSIN calls for end to ‘epidemic’ violence against Indigenous women and girls

‘Listening’ is not enough, Indigenous woman says in wake of MMIWG report
WATCH: 'Listening' is not enough, Indigenous woman says in wake of MMIWG report.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says violence against Indigenous women and girls needs to end.

The FSIN made the statement on Monday after the final report from the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) was released Monday.

READ MORE: ‘This is genocide’: Final MMIWG report says all Canadians have role in ending violence  

“The report represents a collective truth of lived experiences, survivor stories and witness accounts from a disproportionate number of First Nations women and their encounters with violence,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement.

“It is undeniable this report is calling out Canada’s past, present and future role in this epidemic.”

The report called the violence against Indigenous women and girls a “genocide” and a crisis “centuries in the making.

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The FSIN said the status quo is no longer acceptable.

“It perpetuates and normalizes violence,” said FSIN vice-chief Heather Bear.

“First Nations women, girls and Two Spirit people deserve transformative change where their power and place in society is restored.”

READ MORE: Quebec must change as violence against Indigenous women, girls ‘often overlooked’: MMIWG inquiry

The final report made over 230 calls for justice, which the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP) said they will look at ways to implement.

“One of the principles of policing is that, to be effective, police must have the consent of the people and to get that consent, there must be trust,” said Weyburn Police Service Chief Marlo Pritchard, who is also the SACP president.

“The national inquiry has, yet again, demonstrated that we have failed to build the necessary trust with Indigenous, Métis and Inuit peoples, especially the women. Until everyone – no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation – have trust they will be treated fairly and equally by police, we have much work to do. We have to do better.”

READ MORE: From genocide to human trafficking: Key takeaways from the MMIWG inquiry

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SACP said many of its member police service have made changes and shown progress.

“The real goal is to achieve long-term systemic changes; those will take time. We know there is still more work ahead of us in patient, respectful partnership with the communities we serve, SACP said in a release.

Bear said implementing the recommendations is imperative in moving forward.

“Implementing the calls for justice will provide certainty and will require inter-jurisdictional cooperation with all levels of government,” Bear said.

“As legal imperatives, they further clarify federal and provincial fiduciary responsibilities and reinforce their legal obligation to respond expeditiously.”