Tragedy, grief, and action: Response to the report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON JUNE 17, 2019
With respect and gratitude, The Anglican Church of Canada receives and welcomes the report of The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, “Reclaiming Power and Place”. We acknowledge the courage and strength of survivors, families and loved ones who gave statements and testimonies to the Inquiry over the course of its mandate. We are mindful of all those whose pain and grief is so intense that they are not yet able to speak publically of their horrific experiences. We hold in our prayers all who mourn the murder or disappearance of their daughters and grand-daughters, sisters and nieces, partners and friends.
The Calls for Justice in this Report address governments, industries and institutions; protective health care and correctional services; attorneys, educators and social workers; and all Canadians. We receive these Calls acknowledging the manner in which they have been framed, that is “to transform systemic and societal values that have worked to maintain colonial violence”.
As a Church, we lament again our complicity in the systemic racism that sustains an environment in which Indigenous women and girls are so highly vulnerable to human trafficking, and to atrocities of unspeakable abuse. We commit ourselves to the work of undoing the sin of racism within our own Church and in Canadian society.
We commit ourselves in partnership with other churches, institutions, and movements to act on these Calls for Justice, “to give them life”, a life that frees Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people from the violence that mars their lives.
In accord with the Calls for Justice issued to all Canadians, we make public our pledge to:
(15.5) Confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.
(15.6) Protect, support, and promote the safety of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by acknowledging and respecting the value of every person and every community, as well as the right of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to generate their own, self-determined solutions.
That our resolve be unwavering we ask the guidance and strength of God.
The Rt. Rev. Mark McDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Bishop