The federal government has announced a new commemoration fund for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S individuals.
The $10 million over two years provides funding that the Department for Women and Gender Equality says will contribute to healing and help increase public awareness, and help honour the victims.
A previous report found that indigenous women only made up 4 per cent of Canada’s female population, but accounted for 16 per cent of all murdered woman in Canada between 1980 and 2012.
Another report by the RCMP found that 1,017 women and girls identified as Indigenous were murdered between 1980 and 2012. Groups like Amnesty International called the trend appalling.
Following calls from the public an inquiry was eventually launched in 2016.
The new announcement was made by Maryam Monsef, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality.
“Ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S individuals is everyone’s responsibility – including all levels of government, police, the justice system, civil society and other partners,” said Monsef in a statement.
The funds will also help Indigenous governments and organizations, including Indigenous women’s organizations and Two-Spirit organizations, to work with families and communities to develop and implement commemorative initiatives across the country.
“Families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls fought for decades to ensure their daughters, sisters, mothers, and aunties are not forgotten and to have this on-going national tragedy properly investigated,” said Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett in a statement.
“The Commemoration Fund responds to the [National Inquiry’s]… Interim Report and helps families and survivors honour their loved ones and promote the healing which is so important.”
More information for organizations wishing to submit an application for funding can visit women.gc.ca. The deadline to submit is March 28.