WATCH UNITY VIDEO – GRANDMOTHER’S CIRCLE:
That is the challenge and opportunity posed to Canadians by a powerful new public awareness campaign launched on social media platforms by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
In a series of thought-provoking images and videos, Canadians learn first-hand from family members who have experienced the deep loss of a sister, mother, daughter, auntie, cousin and friend. These families and supporters are volunteering their time and sharing their hearts to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. They are inviting all Canadians to stand together and help create a strong foundation for healing, justice, and reconciliation.
The education and awareness campaign, developed by Eagle Vision and its visionary founder Lisa Meeches and her team, and was shot by renowned photographer Nadya Kwandibens.
A key mandate of the National Inquiry is to honour the truth through public education and awareness. The education campaign is part of our terms of reference to promote and advance reconciliation and to contribute to public awareness. The goal is to help the broader Canadian community understand the issue and the impact of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Truth Sharing Podcasts
The Truth Sharing Podcasts give life to the truth. The series visited five Canadian communities to give voice to those who have experienced loss, examine the ways in which those affected are trying to heal, and shine a light on those trying to bring about positive change.
Find out more
The Mandate of the National Inquiry
The National Inquiry must look into and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls, including sexual violence. We must examine the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional, and historical causes that contribute to the ongoing violence and particular vulnerabilities of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. The mandate also directs us to look into and report on existing institutional policies and practices to address violence, including those that are effective in reducing violence and increasing safety.
While the formal name of the Inquiry is “the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” our mandate covers all forms of violence. This makes our mandate very broad. By not being limited to investigating only cases of Indigenous women who went missing or were murdered, we can include women and girls who died under suspicious circumstances.
It also means we can address issues such as sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, bullying and harassment, suicide, and self-harm. This violence is interconnected, and can have equally devastating effects. Expanding the mandate beyond missing and murdered also creates space for more survivors to share their stories. They can help us look to the future from a place of experience, resilience, and hope.
Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people have traditionally been revered as life-givers and caregivers. This is why we say, “our women and girls are sacred.” But Indigenous women and girls, including those who are 2SLGBTQQIA, continue to be devalued. All too many become the victims of violence.
Our vision for the National Inquiry is to build a foundation that allows Indigenous women and girls to reclaim their power and place.
Because of Indigenous Peoples’ rich diversity, this reclaiming will look different in different places. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples each have their own distinct cultures, languages, and ways of life. Their communities have their own distinct political, legal, social, cultural, and economic systems. There can be no one-size-fits-all, pan-Indigenous approach. Solutions must instead be culturally appropriate to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women and girls, their respective communities, and their Nations.
We will find the truth by gathering many stories from many people.
These truths will weave together to show us what violence really looks like for Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
We will gather this information through:
Memorial for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Sculpture/Carving by Mary Ann Grainger
Artists Statement – I was outraged by the Governments’ treatment of Indigenous peoples as revealed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. But in it I found hope in the call to all Canadians to perform personal acts of reconciliation to help heal the wounds of hundreds of years of colonialism. This Memorial to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls is one single act. The Names – It is acknowledged by the RCMP that 1,200 Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing in the last 30 years. Though there is no definitive published list of names. I was able to confirm 783 – each placed in honour on a rock. The remaining 417 rocks are unnamed, but each represents a women. In Appreciation – The following companies and individuals have helped create this Memorial through their generous support of the idea of reconciliation and their desire to honour these women. Beaver Valley Stone, Lorne Winters at Winterstone Sculpting Materials, Sylvia Verkley and everyone at Matthew Plexman Photography, Melanie Chikofsky and everyone at the Al Green Sculpture Studio, John and Katya Sievert
Written January 2021 – Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons: Law Enforcement & Prevention https://www.justice.gov/usao/page/file/1362691/download
G-S-S Collection of INDIGENOUS /NATIVE AMERICAN INSPIRED FILM
Yellowstone. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4236770/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 Note on Yellowstone TV SERIES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL0drAmtJWg
Wind River: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5362988/. Note: While missing person statistics are compiled for every other demographic, none exists for Native American women. No one knows how many are missing – Wind River (2017) https://cherwell.org/2020/09/24/cinematic-activism-wind-river-and-the-mmiw-campaign/
Dances With Wolves: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099348/
Last of the Mohicans: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104691/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Smoke Signals: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120321/ Note: Filmed in Idaho on Coeru d’Alene Reservation, Spokane, Eastern Washington
List of Native American Documentary Films Present By Michigan State University: