Liam Midzain-Gobin, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brock University, recently had a piece published in The Conversation where he asks readers to consider which political parties will use their platforms in the upcoming federal election to give power to Indigenous Peoples and their governments.
“The federal government released the 2021 National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, And 2SLGBTQQIA+ People on June 3, 2021. The plan came two years after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) released its final report, Reclaiming Power and Place.
The plan’s release was somewhat rocky, coming days after the Native Women’s Association of Canada called the process of developing the plan “toxic and dysfunctional.” Concerns were also consistently raised about how slow the process was.
Even though the MMIWG final report’s first Call for Justice was that the government must develop an action plan within one year, the federal government didn’t do it. In that time it only put together a core working group. And while the 2021 National Action Plan outlined steps, it was only accompanied by the federal pathway — an aspirational document that doesn’t include more concrete funding – and implementation plans are seemingly still underway.
Instead of this problem being an unlucky one-off, the development of the 2021 National Action Plan points to a long-term trend in policy and engagement with Indigenous people. Namely that governments slow down implementing even the most basic or straightforward policy. As we begin to dig through the platforms of each major party in advance of the Sept. 20 election, we should also demand accountability for how quickly (or slowly) they are willing to move.”
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