Joint news release
WHITEHORSE—A Yukon delegation comprising Deputy Premier Elaine Taylor, Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill, Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council president Doris Anderson, family members and First Nation leaders will be participating in the second National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Winnipeg, Manitoba, this week.
The event, which is being hosted by the Province of Manitoba this year, brings together Indigenous and National Aboriginal Organization leaders; federal, provincial and territorial governments; community organizations; and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“Our delegation brings a strong and united voice in support of the families of Yukon’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls," Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Elaine Taylor said. "As leaders, we are committed to addressing violence against Indigenous women, and to taking collaborative action to address this important issue on the territorial as well as national level.”
A Regional Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was held earlier this month in Whitehorse. At that event, leaders and community advocates heard the experiences of Yukon family members who have lost loved ones, as well as their recommendations to prevent further violence against Indigenous women and girls.
"As we move forward in this process, my greatest hope is that we are able to provide the families with some measure of peace," Chief Bill said. "May our united voices bring about change and deliver a means for preventative goals and actions, which will effectively address the crisis of violence faced by our women and girls."
The regional roundtable outlined what is working and identified priority areas for further collaborative action in preparation for the second National Roundtable, and for the upcoming national inquiry. At the event’s conclusion, leaders signed an historic declaration outlining their commitment to action to address violence against Indigenous women and girls.
“May the messages we have heard at the Family Gathering, the family meeting with Minister Bennett and the Yukon Regional Roundtable be delivered, that it be heard loud and clear at the National Roundtable. That we need programs that are First Nations driven and an input on the makeup of the inquiry,” Anderson said. “We have the support of our leadership, community leaders and the families. It is imperative that the grassroots organizations maintain a pulse on this movement because as the people on the ground, we are dealing directly with the families dealing with this epidemic. We know what works, we hear what they are saying and it is evident that the healing will continue by us moving forward together.”
Since 2004, the Government of Yukon has dedicated more than $2.8 million to support projects designed by and for Aboriginal women. Examples of culturally relevant programs include the Sisters in Spirit project, the Brothers in Spirit initiative and the Honouring Our Sisters event. Yukon has also hosted two regional summits and participated in four National Aboriginal Women’s Summits. The Yukon government has supported a call by national Aboriginal leaders for a national inquiry into the issue since 2013.
The aim of the national roundtables is to continue the dialogue among all orders of government and Indigenous representatives and families to effectively address violence against Indigenous women and girls and to collectively identify solutions and collaborative means of moving them forward.
Communications, Women’s Directorate
Yukon delegation members – Second National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- Elaine Taylor, Deputy Premier & Minister Responsible for the Women’s Directorate
- Doris Bill, Chief of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation
- Doris Anderson, President of the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council
- Krista Reid, President of the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle
- Adeline Webber, Vice-President of the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle
- Lorraine Netro, Co-Chair of the Assembly of First Nations Women’s Council
- Crystal Stewart, Advocate for the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Council
- Ms. Melissa Carlick, family member
- Ms. Toni Blanchard, family member
- Jennifer England, Director of the Women’s Directorate
- Kelli Taylor, Director of First Nations Relations, Executive Council Office
- Natasha Phillips, Senior Advisor, Justice
- Dan Macdonald, Director of Constituency Services and Caucus Support