WHITEHORSE—Government and community leaders met today at a Yukon Regional Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The roundtable was an opportunity for Yukon organizations and governments to better understand Yukon’s context, hear directly from families, share existing initiatives and best practices and identify opportunities for collaboration and action.
The roundtable was co-chaired by Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill, Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Elaine Taylor and Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council president Doris Anderson. Attendees included Premier Darrell Pasloski and Cabinet ministers, First Nations chiefs, representatives of the Assembly of First Nations Women's Committee and the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle, the RCMP, Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis, Association of Yukon Communities vice president Diana Rogerson, and community members including families, Elders and youth.
- received a joint presentation about the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Yukon from the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council president Doris Anderson and RCMP Sgt. Calista MacLeod;
- watched a video created by the families who attended the December 2015 Family Gathering and heard directly from families who attended the gathering;
- heard from keynote speaker Nahanni Fontaine, special advisor on Aboriginal women’s issues for the Government of Manitoba;
- learned about community responses and best practices from the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Kaushee’s Place, Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, Yukon government and the City of Whitehorse; and
- identified opportunities for collaboration and action.
The co-chairs signed a declaration to support families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, address the root causes of violence against Indigenous women and take collaborative action to address this important issue.
After hearing from the stories of families at the Yukon Regional Rountable, the co-chairs also made a commitment to hold another Family Gathering.
The co-chairs will use the feedback received today from families and from the Family Gathering that took place on December 12th, 2015 to draft a joint submission for the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“Hosting today’s Yukon Roundtable was a commitment we made at the National Roundtable in February 2015, and while the national landscape has shifted, we remain steadfast in our work to support our Yukon families and find solutions to end the violence women and girls face in the North,” Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill said. “We thank the families who have spoken to us; your voices will inform both the next roundtable at the end of this month and the national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
“This is the beginning of a partnership long overdue with both the RCMP and the Governments of the day,” Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council president Doris Anderson said. “Today over the course of these roundtable discussions we take action together. I’d like to acknowledge the amazing and hardworking individuals – who have been working very hard on this file for many years. Let this Yukon Regional Roundtable, the National Roundtable, and Minister Bennett’s presence be an acknowledgement of your hard work.”
“This is an important opportunity to bring together leaders from all orders of government and all communities with families, Elders and youth to discuss current initiatives and plan for further collaboration,” Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Elaine Taylor said. “A guiding principle of the Yukon Regional Roundtable is to meaningfully integrate the voices of the families of Yukon’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls who gathered together last December, so that we can employ culturally relevant best practices and work together to address any outstanding gaps.”
Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Communications Manager
Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council, President
Communications, Women’s Directorate
Minister Elaine Taylor, Government of Yukon
Chief Doris Bill, Kwanlin Dün First Nation
Doris Anderson, Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council president
Chief Carl Sidney, Teslin Tlingit Council
Dawson Mayor Wayne Potoroka, Association of Yukon Communities
Lorraine Netro, Assembly of First Nations Women's Committee
Adeline Webber, Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle