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The Manitoba government is partnering with Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre to provide $130,000 in funding to support the co-development of a provincial implementation plan to raise awareness and end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples in Manitoba, Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere and Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, announced today.

“Working in collaboration with organizations such as Ma Mawi that are known for their strong relationships with Indigenous organizations and leadership will help guide the co-ordination of this important project,” said Lagimodiere. “We recognize the enormity of work that remains to be advanced to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples, and the role we must all play in addressing these harms.”

The province has taken many steps in its efforts to address the issues of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), noted the minister, but further alignment of government actions with Indigenous and community-based priorities is needed along with funding for a co-ordinated provincial response that combines perspectives into one collective implementation plan. The plan will be Indigenous-led and informed by the federal government’s national action plan addressing the Calls for Justice put forward in the final report from the National Inquiry into MMIWG.

Ma Mawi is a non-profit, Indigenous-led community organization established in 1984 that delivers a variety of programs and services to Indigenous families living in Winnipeg. Its proposal is supported by a broad base of provincial organizations and groups, and Ma Mawi plans to work with a fulsome range of stakeholders from a variety of sectors. A final draft implementation plan will be presented back to Manitoba and stakeholders early this year, the minister added.

“As the grandmother agency with over 30 years’ experience in community building, we are pleased that the voices of families and survivors will continue to guide the process for a whole-of-Manitoba approach to implementing the national action plan,” said Diane Redsky, executive director, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

Historic and present-day impacts of colonialism continue to have an influence on violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples, noted the minister, who added Manitobans need to recognize and educate themselves about systemic factors such as racism, discrimination, and misogyny, social and economic marginalization, multigenerational and intergenerational trauma, and continued oppression and harm to Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse individuals.

“Our government is deeply committed to advancing and providing supports and programing to create awareness and to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples,” said Squires. “We will continue to listen and work collaboratively with Indigenous and community-led organizations to advance programing for those in need.”

The province continues to work towards reconciliation and proposed amendments to the Path to Reconciliation Act that established the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into MMIWG, a key component for the government’s approach to advancing truth and reconciliation in Manitoba.

To learn more about MMIWG in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/inr/mmiwg/index.html.