National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
May 5 is National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). It is a day to bring awareness and to recognize and honour the lost lives of Indigenous women and girls.
“Today we reflect on and honour the lives of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people that have tragically been cut short by violence, as well as the families and loved ones of the missing and murdered whose lives have been altered forever. Also known as Red Dress Day, today is about bringing awareness to MMIWG and to reaffirm our commitment to address the Calls for Justice. As we continue to work tirelessly to end gender-based violence in Prince Edward Island, it is important for all of us to recognize the violence committed against Indigenous women and girls.”
- Premier Dennis King
The Government of PEI made a commitment to deliver annual reports showing how it is implementing the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Calls for Justice of the MMIWG. This year, the province has combined these reports into one comprehensive document. The annual status report for 2022 offers a blended summary and detailed schedules providing specific responses to the Calls to Justice and Calls to Action. Highlights from the report include:
- Launched a Health Strategy for Women and Islanders who are Gender Diverse, which includes a priority area to create welcoming environments, especially in healthcare settings. Enhancing Indigenous cultural safety and humility underpins this priority area and serves as a guiding principle for the overall strategy.
- Launched the Gender, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Community Enhancement Program.
- In collaboration with the Atlantic Police Academy (APA), provided scholarships with a focus on reducing financial barriers for Island residents who are under-represented in the policing work force, including self-identifying BIPOC, female, gender diverse.
- Provided supports to family members of MMIWG, including access to information about missing family members. In 2020/2021 and 2021/2022, funding supported projects for culturally relevant healing practices for Indigenous women in the community.
- Launched a photo exhibit called, Perseverance, Persistence, Progress: Women’s Impact on Politics in PEI, featuring stories of politically active women, including four Mi’kmaq women: Chief Mary Bernard, Chief Margaret Bernard, Alice Mitchell and Peggy (Sark) Rydzewski (more information available here).
- Developed Education for Reconciliation resource for Grade 8 social studies using the authentic voices of Indigenous women to bring awareness of residential schools and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The Indigenous Relations Secretariat is offering training about violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people to senior managers in the provincial government.
The Government of Prince Edward Island recognizes the importance of education and awareness in ending violence against Indigenous women and girls. The province will continue to advance initiatives and programs that support the implementation of the MMIWG Calls for Justice, while ensuring that ongoing education and awareness complements this important work.
Executive Council Office
Bilingual Senior Communications Officer