Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson issued the following statement on recent work with provincial, territorial and federal governments on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls:
“Alberta is pleased to join other provinces and territories in the release of the National Action Plan. As the events of the past week have shown, we still have a long way to go in terms of reconciliation efforts.
“Two years ago, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued its final report. I was at the closing ceremony and I accepted the report and committed to make Alberta a safer place for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
“Today, my heart is with the families and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people and survivors of violence. Their work and dedication has brought a country together toward a common goal.
“The National Action Plan brought together other jurisdictions, Indigenous groups and national Indigenous organizations to share regional and common solutions.
“In the meantime, Alberta’s government continues to work on local actions and solutions, with wisdom from families and communities.
“Alberta’s government listens to the voices of Indigenous women through the First Nations and Métis Women’s Councils on Economic Security, who provide advice to government on cross-ministry policies, programs and services.
“‘We also provided a multi-year funding agreement for the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, which works to empower and advocate for Indigenous women in Alberta.
“Last March, I established the Alberta Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Women and Girls (AJWG) to recommend ways to help make Alberta a safer place. The AJWG engages with Indigenous people, communities and organizations to inform their recommendations, which I am expecting later this year. Members include dedicated Indigenous women and government members of the legislative assembly, and I am confident they will develop the right solutions for the right outcomes.
“But, we are not waiting to take action toward safety. Alberta’s government also implemented Clare’s Law, so anyone at risk of domestic violence can apply to police to find out if their intimate partner has a history of domestic violence or abuse. We also passed the Vital Statistics Amendment Act to prevent convicted violent offenders from legally changing their names so they cannot hide that past from future partners.
“We are committed to an Alberta that is violence free, where Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people can lead safe and hopeful lives.”