National action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women delayed

OTTAWA—Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says a national action plan to make life safer for Indigenous women and girls is not going to be ready next month as planned.

June 3 will mark one year since the national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls concluded with a 1,200-page report and 231 “calls for justice.”

Bennett told the Assembly of First Nations last December that the government’s promised national action plan would be ready by the one-year anniversary.

Today Bennett says COVID-19 is making that impossible.

She says the government remains committed to getting the response completed but that many of the people who were working on the front lines of the response are the same people helping provinces and Indigenous communities cope with the pandemic.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada and other advocates for the families of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls say the pandemic is worsening violence against Indigenous women and say communities cannot wait any longer.

TORONTO STAR