Understanding urban Indigenous realities is vital to effective program and funding decisions to address missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and non-binary people (MMIWG 2SLGBTQQIA+). Friendship Centres are leaders in facilitating programming to eradicate violence in urban Indigenous communities.
Prior to the Government of Canada’s launching of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2016, front-line advocates at Friendship Centres across the country already knew well what their communities needed to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. Friendship Centres have been responding to these community needs, with precarious funding, through delivering critical wraparound services that integrate culture, tradition, and ceremony.
Current NAFC MMIWG2S+ Initiatives
Indigenous-led Data Research Project
On April 5th, 2022, NAFC was awarded $50,000 per year for six years to administer the Urban Indigenous MMIWG2S+ Data Strategy. NAFC is in the process of engaging with the Friendship Centres Movement (FCM) to highlight knowledge gaps and persistent issues when it came to high quality data about MMIWG2S+. In consultation with the FCM, NAFC plans to define what it means to feel safe for our communities.
NAFC Data Working Group – MMIWG2S+ Lens
The NAFC seeks to ensure that space is being made by and with urban Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ members and that urban based Indigenous people, in general, are considered and visible in the discussion surrounding data collection on the topic of MMIWG2S+. Both the National Data Strategy and MMIWG2S+ Indigenous-led data research project will be assessing current indicators and urban Indigenous capacity at the Friendship Centre. To be more specific, NAFC will assess the level where staff are unable to dedicate time and have the right tools and resources to collect data from clients.
NAFC MMIWG2S+ Webinars/Events
On June 3rd, 2022, NAFC held a virtual MMIWG2S+ webinar marking the one-year anniversary of the release of the MMIWG2S+ national action plan. The event proved to be successful and best practices were shared along with challenges Friendship Centres face in supporting survivors and family members. Notable challenges at the Friendship Centre level include limited access to MMIWG2S+ resources, funding issues, lack of training and staff to write funding proposals, relationship building with funders and securing guaranteed funding without the continuous need to write proposals.
Check our website regularly for the most up to date resources, trainings, and webinars.
MMIWG2S+ Reading List
- Honouring our Ways: A Just and Sustainable Approach to Urban Indigenous Wellbeing & Safety (November 2021)
- “MMIWG 2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan - Urban Path to Reclaiming Power and Place Regardless of Residency” (2021)
- “Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls” (2019)
Have Questions or Interested in learning more, contact:
Natalie Cahill (she/her)