On June 3, the second anniversary of the release of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Final Report including the 231 Calls for Justice, Inuit released an Inuit Action Plan for imple menting the 46 Inuit‐specific Calls to Justice. The Inuit Action Plan sets out the steps that must be taken by governments and Inuit representative organizations to end violence against Inuit women, girls and Two‐Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) people.
The Inuit Action Plan is a chapter within a National Action Plan, an overarching framework for implementing the 231 Calls to Justice. The overarching document was developed by Inuit and other Indigenous representative bodies, as well as federal, provincial, and territorial governments. It has many cross‐cutting goals, including to address the root causes of violence, and support transformational change in attitudes, behaviour, and knowledge across society and its laws, policies, and systems.
ITK and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, together with Inuit Land Claims organizations and community‐based organizations, worked together as part of a 10‐member Inuit Working Group to outline the Inuit‐specific document’s 187 actions across 14 thematic areas. Those actions instruct governments, Inuit Land Claims Organizations, and other represented bodies on the National Inuit Working Group on the steps ahead.
The Inuit‐Crown Partnership Committee (ICPC) will monitor implementation of federal‐led actions as well as certain Inuit‐led actions, including by developing implementation timelines. Members will report annually on implementation status to the ICPC as well as the public. Implementation of provincial/territorial‐led actions may require Inuit Land Claims Organizations to broker the establishment of new bilateral mechanisms with governments.
Historical and continuing systemic discrimination and human rights violations by governments are among the factors that contribute to the high prevalence of violence experienced by many Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Other factors include social and economic inequities between Inuit and most other Canadians, such as overcrowding and lack of housing, limited access to public services, and poverty.
Gender violence is often linked to inter generational trauma caused by the harmful and enduring impacts of colonial policies on our culture, communities, and society. Many Inuit families and communities are disproportionately impacted by traumatic experiences yet lack access to the tools and resources needed to support healing and healthy relationships, such as treatment for substance use and mental health service delivery systems.
The families of missing and murdered Inuit, the survivors, the leader ship of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and the voices of Inuit women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are all key to the successful implementation of the National Inuit Action Plan to end gendered violence against Inuit. Preventing violence against Inuit women and girls also requires Inuit representative organizations and governments to exercise our right to self‐determination in new ways, including by leading initiatives that have historically been led by governments.
The National Inuit Action Plan respects differences between Inuit Land Claims Organizations and their governance structures, as well as their institutions or service agencies. These differences will influence how organizations including Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation and the Nunatsiavut Government prioritize and approach implementation.
We know that solutions exist that can help break cycles of violence and both complement and build on existing Inuit‐led programs, interventions, and initiatives that support healthy families and communities. Improving the overall quality of life for Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people can be achieved through the sustained and genuine collaborative action between all governments and Inuit.
This is a difficult subject for many people. To talk with a counsellor at any time, call the Hope for Wellness Helpline at 1-855-242-3310.
President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami