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The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women


Commission on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls – 2019





Sub-Category: GENERAL

Resolution Number:



CFBPWC Board of Directors








BACKGROUND: The government of Canada launched the National Inquiry (“Inquiry) into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Canada in 2015, independent from the federal government. It is a public inquiry established under Part I of the federal Inquiries Act. The inquiry has also been established under respective provincial and territorial inquiries’ legislation through Orders-in-Council, giving the Inquiry the ability to look into federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions as a part of the Inquiry. The final report was released on June 3, 2019. The 1,200-page report, which describes how Indigenous women are murdered at far greater rates than non-Indigenous women, has over 200 recommendations, calling on the federal government to develop an effective response to human trafficking cases, implement changes to the child welfare system and create a national action plan to ensure equitable access to employment, housing and education.
BPW Canada policies are in alignment with the Commission’s recommendations addressing the systemic causes of all forms of violence against indigenous women and girls. BPW Canada has discussed these issues at many national meetings and made four resolutions which recognized the issues:
• 2010 – Reaffirmation of the Resolution on Funding for Sisters in Spirit Initiative of the Native Women’s Association of Canada; and resources (police personnel and funds) to find the missing and murdered women in Canada, and in particular the Aboriginal women as identified by the Sisters in Spirit in their research.
• 2014 – Resolution on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: To adopt and implement the recommendations as outlined in the Amnesty International 2004 report: Stolen Sisters: Discrimination and Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada: A Summary of Amnesty International’s Concerns; and to engage the expertise of Native leaders and Native women’s organizations in order to establish effective mechanisms to combat violence against aboriginal women.
• 2015 – Resolution on Adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People: Adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples so that it can start integrating the rights of indigenous peoples into its agendas, policies and programmes at all levels.
• 2017 – Resolution on Violence Against Women: Violence Against Indigenous Women: Support and give Royal Assent to Bill S-215; and to prepare a study for public release on the effects of Bill S-215 and whether there is a decrease in violent crimes against Aboriginal women.
In addition four other policies included specific policies addressing concerns of indigenous women:
• 1992 – Federally Sentenced Women in Canada.
• 2001 – Implications of Divorce Act on Women.
• 2004 – Women Entrepreneurs Task Force.
• 2005 – Amendment of the Indian Act and the Canadian Human Rights Act re. division of marital property and enshrinement of property rights.
We have also developed a policy track against sexual abuse and violence, human trafficking and on abolition of human slavery, issues which impact indigenous women disproportionately.
• 1992 – Addressing Gender Bias of Judges in the Federal Judicial System by training in the fields of sexual assault, family abuse and violence against women, and lived experience.
• 1994 – Mandatory Gender Sensitivity Training for Judges
• 2000 – Elimination of Exploitation of Young Females in the Sex Trade Industry: resources, application of the Criminal Code.
• 2006 – Human Trafficking: resources, amendments to the Criminal Code
• 2010 – Combatting Human Trafficking in Canada: funding for services for victims and those providing victim assistance.
• 2013 – Creation of a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.
• 2013 – Identification of businesses and individuals with a risk of sexual exploitation to combat human trafficking.
• 2017 – Addressing “Unfounded” Cases of Sexual Assault.
• 2018 – National Policy to Ensure Access to Sexual Assault Kits.
• 2018 – Reducing Ease of Access and Viewing of Online Violent and Degrading Sexually Explicit Material.
The Final Report of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women also calls for the recommendations of the 2015 UN CEDAW Inquiry Report and cooperation with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on all follow-up procedures. As UN-recognized NGO, BPW International has signed on to the CEDAW recommendations.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada support the recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women which addresses the systemic causes of violence faces by Indigenous Women and Girls.

©BPW Canada

Article ID: 13241