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‘It’s for show’: Nippi-Albright critical of Sask. government’s commitment to MMIWG

Betty Nippi-Albright speaks at a press conference Thursday. Dave Parsons / Global News

Saskatchewan lawmakers unanimously agreed to support Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) guidance for protecting Indigenous women and girls Thursday.

During an emergency debate called by the government, all MLAs in the chamber voted in favour of supporting the FSIN’s Declaration to Honour Indigenous Women and Girls.

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The declaration was drafted in 2016 to “guide FSIN actions, activities, and dispositions towards Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse persons identifying as women and girls.”

The principles guiding the FSIN’s Declaration to Honour Indigenous Women and Girls.

Opposition First Nations & Metis Relations Critic Betty Nippi-Albright, though, was skeptical that the chamber action would lead to any effective solutions.

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She suggested the emergency debate occurred only due to the pressure of those in attendance at the legislature Thursday. Nippi-Albright was joined by dozens of family members and friends of missing and murdered women.

“This government could have introduced this emergency debate on Tuesday,” she said.

“It’s the pressure of Indigenous people. That’s why they’re doing this. It’s for show.”

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Nippi-Albright called for new actions to be taken, including the creation of a new plan to “address the disproportionate rates of violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls”.

During the debate, several government members outlined actions taken to protect Indigenous women and girls or investigating cases of victimization, such as the passing of missing persons legislation.

Justice Minister Gord Wyant also said Saskatchewan was the first province to support the 2019 National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

He said an update to the inquiry, which will include information on actions taken in Saskatchewan, will be released in early June.

“The people of this province can trust this government that we’re committed to addressing this issue.”

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