Promoting Safety for Indigenous Women
The department receives advice from Indigenous Women’s Councils on Economic Security on how best to promote social and economic opportunities for Indigenous women, It also supports campaigns and programs aimed at violence prevention and safety promotion, including:
- Supporting the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- The Moose Hide Campaign
- I Am a Kind Man
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
On June 22, 2015, the Alberta government announced its support for the call for a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Alberta is committed to participating fully in the inquiry process, which is expected to begin in 2017.
Alberta passed an Order in Council in September 2016, adopting the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry and the Commissioners of the Inquiry under its Public Inquiries Act and giving the Commission the ability to look into areas of provincial jurisdiction.
The Government of Canada launched a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in August 2016.
Violence against Indigenous women remains a serious concern that impacts all Albertans:
- Indigenous women in Canada are disproportionately affected by violence and have a higher rate of victimization compared to non-Indigenous women, both in relation to spousal and non-spousal violence (Measuring Violence against Women: Statistical Trends 2013, Statistics Canada).
- A 2014 RCMP report found that Indigenous women make up only 4 per cent of the population but make up 16 per cent of all murdered women on record. The number of missing and murdered Indigenous women is higher in the western provinces.
Indigenous Relations will continue to work with Indigenous women, communities, governments, organizations and counterparts at the federal and municipal levels to make real progress on this issue, provide better support for families and communities and support the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Alberta is a full and willing participant and will provide full cooperation and support to the Inquiry. Alberta is actively participating on a Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group in support of the National Inquiry.
Related Government of Alberta initiatives:
- The government launched the Ministry of the Status of Women in 2015 and established a specialized Violence against Women and Girls Unit.
- Family Violence Hurts Everyone: A Framework to End Family Violence is a 10-year plan focused on violence prevention and building and enhancing supports and services.
- The Residential Tenancies (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act allows for the termination of tenancies without financial penalty if a tenant’s safety, or that of a dependent child or protected adult who lives with the tenant, is at risk.
- Family and Community Safety Grants fund local initiatives that address gender-based violence in communities across Alberta.
- Indigenous Relations supported the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women to provide training on leadership and empowerment to Indigenous communities to support local youth.
- Government funding increased for women’s shelters, providing approximately $49.8 million a year.
Moose Hide Campaign
The Moose Hide Campaign asks men to take a pledge to honour, respect and protect the women and girls in their lives. As a sign of this pledge, supporters wear a moose hide swatch to show their support for ending violence against Indigenous women and children.
Indigenous Relations and the Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association partnered in 2014 to launch the Moose Hide Campaign. Since then, more than 13,000 men in Alberta have taken the pledge.
I am a Kind Man
The I Am a Kind Man initiative engages Indigenous men and boys in speaking out against all forms of abuse towards Indigenous women.
Indigenous Relations provides funding to Native Friendship Centres to deliver I Am a Kind Man in communities and correctional facilities. This resource
- provides education for men to address issues of abuse against women;
- re-establishes traditional responsibilities, which promote anti-violence, empathy, and dialogue;
- inspires men to engage other men to get involved and stop the abuse; and
- supports Indigenous men who choose not to use violence.