OTTAWA, ON., June 3 2022 – Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak, on behalf of the Métis Nation has stepped away from the progress report on the National Action plan for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People. The process leading to the development of the progress report was rushed and does not fully describe the lack of tangible action in the implementation of the National Action plan.
Although the National Inquiry report was released in 2019, the work to ending the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people spanned decades. It is a sad reality that these years of dedication, plus a National Inquiry, as well as a National Action Plan process, that we still find ourselves in a position where there is no concrete action on implementing a strategy to effect real, meaningful change. The reality is, Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are still going missing and being murdered. There can be no more excuses for inaction.
“In consultation with our Métis Grandmothers Wisdom Circle, we have decided to withdraw from the progress report.” said Melanie Omeniho, President of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak. “We instead, have taken the guidance of our Métis Grandmothers to stand in support families and survivors through the coordination of a Métis ceremony led by our Grandmothers to be held on June 20th, 2022. We invite Métis families and survivors wishing to participate to reach out to us.”
The perspectives of Métis Nation women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people continue to be excluded from important processes. Despite trying to work within a broader pan-Indigenous process, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak on behalf of the Métis Nation will continue to advocate for inclusion of our voices, our Métis families and those with lived experience including our Métis Grandmothers and Knowledge Keepers.
Our 62 Calls for Miskotahâ were created after exclusion of Métis families and the heartbreaking withdrawal of our Métis Commissioner and Grandmother in the original inquiry process, and we have continued to experience a flawed and marginalizing process. Continuing this pathway is not going to create substantive change in the lives of Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. We will continue to advocate for MMIWG investments that can be actioned by the governing members of the Métis National Council to create meaningful change, and improve the lives and safety of Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
“We support the voices of National and Provincial Indigenous Women’s organizations” said President Omeniho. “Our voices have been silenced in what can only be described as political pretence.”
LFMO speaks as the national and international voice for the Women of the Métis Nation across the Métis Motherland, spanning Ontario westward to British Columbia. Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak aims to consult, promote, and represent the personal, spiritual, social, cultural, political and economic interests and aspirations of the Women of the Métis Nation, and their Indigenous allies.
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