The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Marc Miller, and the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal issued the following statement:
“Today is International Women’s Day, when we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women around the world and the work that is being done to achieve gender equality. In particular, we honour and celebrate Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) people.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the leadership of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and women working hard to achieve gender equality. From coast-to-coast-to-coast, we are participating in a two-day summit on Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery organized by Women and Gender Equality Canada under the leadership of Minister Monsef. The summit will look at approaches to advancing gender equality as we commit to build back better economically, socially and environmentally, from the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit will also contribute to the development of a comprehensive Action Plan to further address the important issues that affect women in Canada, such as job loss, poverty and income equality.
The pandemic has magnified the sexism, racism and marginalization faced by Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. They are at greater risk of domestic violence and economic insecurity. We know that we also must address the shadow pandemic of domestic violence and we know that staying at home is not always a safe option. Canada is firmly committed to advancing the safety, security and well-being of Indigenous women, their children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, by expanding culturally relevant supports and trauma-informed care for those who face gender-based violence.
We know that systemic racism and inequality is a root cause of the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. We are responding to the priorities of Indigenous partners to address issues related to housing, emergency shelters and transition housing for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across the country, whether on reserve, off reserve, in the North, or in urban areas.
We are committed to making transformative and substantive changes through the co-development of the National Action Plan to end the violence towards Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. As a country, we must continue walking together on a path of healing and reconciliation. On this International Women’s Day, we encourage all Canadians to celebrate the women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in your communities and to stand together in taking action to advance gender equality in Canada.”