Red Dress Day finds little action on violence against Indigenous women: NWAC

On the first Red Dress Day since the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report in June 2019, the president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) says she’s disappointed with the government’s response.

“I’m sad and disappointed in the government because I haven’t seen much out in regards to what sections of the inquiry has come out,” Lorraine Whitman told APTN News. “I truly feel at that time there should have been dollars set aside so that we could start working on some of the 231 calls to justice.”

Similar frustrations have been expressed on social media.

“LONG before #covid19 #pandemic Canada was in midst of human rights crisis found Canada guilty of both historic & ongoing genocide against Indigenous women and girls,” Mi’kmaq lawyer Pam Palmater wrote on Twitter. “Very little substantive action taken since then #May5th #MMIWG ”

Since then, very little substantive action has been taken since the report was handed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.

On Red Dress Day, some took the opportunity to restate the inquiry’s grim findings; that Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to go missing, or be murdered than other groups of women in Canada.

“We’re not forgetting about the women and girls and the two spirited they’ll never be forgotten,” said Whitman. “And we’ll continue to move forward in a positive way and try to make changes.”

APTN contacted the federal government to get an update on the calls to justice but did not hear back.

Video Journalist / Halifax

Angel Moore is a proud Cree from the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. Angel grew up in Winnipeg and has a Journalism degree from the University of King’s College. She also has a degree from Dalhousie University in International Development Studies and Environmental Sustainability. Angel joined APTN News in June 2018 as the correspondent in the Halifax bureau and covers Atlantic Canada.