Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

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The Final Report is comprised of the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers shared over two years of cross-country public hearings and evidence gathering. It delivers 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians.
As documented in the Final Report, testimony from family members and survivors of violence spoke about a surrounding context marked by multigenerational and intergenerational trauma and marginalization in the form of poverty, insecure housing or homelessness and barriers to education, employment, health care and cultural support. Experts and Knowledge Keepers spoke to specific colonial and patriarchal policies that displaced women from their traditional roles in communities and governance and diminished their status in society, leaving them vulnerable to violence.



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CBC News
A look back at the MMIWG inquiry
00:00 03:54

Ahead of the closing ceremonies, we look back at the MMIWG inquiry. 3:54

15.7 Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work, and put them into practice in all of your relationships with Indigenous peoples.

15.8 Help hold all governments accountable to act on the Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the important principles we set out.

Calls for Justice for Inuit

16.1 Honour all socio-economic commitments as defined in land claims agreements and self-government agreements between Inuit and the Crown. 

16.2 Create laws and services to ensure the protection and revitalization of Inuit culture and language. All Inuit, including those living outside Inuit Nunangat, must have equitable access to culture and language programs. It is essential that Elders are included in the development and delivery of these programs.

16.3 We call upon all governments with jurisdiction in Inuit Nunangat to recognize Inuktut as the founding language, and it must be given official language status through language laws. Inuktut must be afforded the same recognition and protection and promotion as English and French within Inuit Nunangat, and all governments and agencies providing services to Inuit must ensure access to services in Inuktut, and invest in the capacity to be able to do so. 

16.4 Given that the intergenerational transfer of Inuit knowledge, values, and language is a right that must be upheld, we call upon all governments to fund and support the recording of Inuit knowledge about culture, laws, values, spirituality and history prior to and since the start of colonization.

16.5 Given that reliable high-speed internet services and telecommunications are necessary for Inuit to access government services and to engage in the Canadian economic, cultural and political life, we call upon all governments with jurisdiction in Inuit Nunangat to invest the infrastructure to ensure all Inuit have access to high-speed internet.

16.6 Ensure that population numbers for Inuit outside of the Inuit homeland are captured in a disaggregated manner, and that their rights as Inuit are upheld. These numbers are urgently needed to identify the growing, social, economic, political and cultural needs of urban Inuit.

16.7 Ensure the availability of effective, culturally appropriate and accessible health and wellness services within each Inuit community. That includes Inuit midwives and community wellness, health and mental health services in each Inuit community.

16.8 Invest in the recruitment and capacity building of Inuit within the medical, health and wellness service fields. 

16.9 Establish and resource an Inuit Healing and Wellness Fund to support grassroots and community-led programs. This fund must be permanently resourced, must be administered by Inuit, and independent from government.

16.10 Develop policies and programs to include healing and health programs within educational systems. 

16.11 Given that healing occurs through the expression of art and culture, we call upon all governments within Inuit Nunangat to invest in Inuit artistic expression in all its forms through the establishment of infrastructure and by ensuring sustainable funds are available and accessible for Inuit artists.

16.12 Ensure that Inuit men and boys are provided services that are gender- and Inuit-specific to address historic and ongoing trauma they are experiencing. 

16.13 Implement the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy with Inuit nationally and regionally, through Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

16.14 Review and amend laws in relation to child and family services to ensure they uphold the rights of Inuit children and families and conform to Inuit laws and values. Inuit parents and guardians must be provided access to Inuit-specific parenting and care-giving teachings and services.

16.15 In light of the multi-jurisdictional nature of child and family services as they currently operate for Inuit in Canada, we call upon the federal government, in partnership with Inuit, to establish and fund an Inuit Child and Youth Advocate with jurisdiction over all Inuit children in care. 

16.16 Enumerate and report on the number of Inuit children in care. This data must be disaggregated and the reports must be shared with Inuit organizations and Inuit child and youth advocates.

16.17 Prioritize supporting Inuit families and communities to meet the needs of Inuit children, recognizing that apprehension must occur only when absolutely required to protect a child. Placement of Inuit children with extended family and in Inuit homes must be prioritized and resourced. Placement outside of their communities and outside their homelands must be restricted.

16.18 Respect the rights of Inuit children and people in care, including those who are placed in care outside of their Inuit homelands. Immediately invest in safe, affordable and culturally appropriate housing within Inuit communities and for Inuit outside of their homelands, given the links between the housing crisis and violence, poor health (including tuberculosis) and suicide. Immediate and directed measures are required to end the crisis.

16.19 Develop and fund safe houses, shelters, transition houses and second-stage housing for Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people fleeing violence. These houses and shelters are required in all Inuit communities and in urban centres with large Inuit populations. Shelters must not require full occupancy to remain open and to receive funding. 

A field of more than 1,000 hearts, each representing a missing or murdered Indigenous woman or girl, in La Ronge, Sask., on Feb. 14, 2019. (Submitted by Karen Sanderon)

16.20 All governments with jurisdiction in Inuit Nunangat must immediately increase minimum wage rates and increase social assistance rates to meet the needs of Inuit and to match the higher cost of living in Inuit communities. A guaranteed annual livable income model, recognizing the right to income security, must be developed and implemented.

16.21 Ensure equitable access to high-quality educational opportunities and outcomes from early childhood education to post-secondary education within Inuit communities.

16.22 Fund programs for Inuit children and youth to learn about developing interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, Inuit children and youth must be taught how to identify violence through the provision of age-appropriate educational programs like the Good Touch/Bad Touch program offered in Nunavik.

16.23 Work with Inuit to provide public awareness and education to combat the normalization of domestic violence and sexualized violence against Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people; to educate men and boys about the unacceptability of violence against Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people; and to raise awareness and education about the human rights and Indigenous rights of Inuit.

16.24 Support programs for Inuit children and youth to teach them how to respond to threats and identify exploitation. 

16.25 We call upon all educators to ensure that the education system, from early childhood to post-secondary, reflects Inuit culture, language and history. The impacts and history of colonialism and its legacy and effects must also be taught. 

16.26 We call on all governments to invest in the establishment of an accredited university within Inuit Nunangat.

16.27 Ensure that in all areas of service delivery – including but not limited to policing, the criminal justice system, education, health and social services – there be ongoing and comprehensive Inuit-specific cultural competency training for public servants. 

The qulliq, a traditional Inuit oil lamp, burns at 2018 MMIWG hearings in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. (Randi Beers/CBC)

16.28 Given that the failure to invest in resources required for treatment and rehabilitation has resulted in the failure of section 718(e) of the Criminal Code and the Gladue principles to meet their intended objectives, we call upon all governments to invest in Inuit-specific treatment and rehabilitation services to address the root causes of violent behaviour. This must include but is not limited to culturally appropriate and accessible mental health services, trauma and addictions services, and access to culture and language for Inuit. 

16.29 Design and provide wraparound, accessible and culturally appropriate victim services. 

16.30 We call upon Correctional Service Canada and provincial and territorial corrections services to recognize and adopt an Inuit Nunangat model of policy, program, and service development and delivery. 

16.31 We call upon Correctional Service Canada and provincial and territorial correctional services to amend their intake and data-collection policies and practices to ensure that distinctions-based information about Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people is accurately captured and monitored. All correctional services must report annually to Inuit representative organizations on the number of Inuit women within correctional services' care and custody.

16.32 Ensure there is Inuit representation among sworn officers and civilian staff within Inuit communities, especially among RCMP. Inuit are entitled to receive police services in Inuktut and in a culturally competent and appropriate manner. 

16.33 Achieve proportional representation of Inuit throughout public service in Inuit homelands.

16.34 Fully implement the principles and objectives of Article 23 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. 

16.35 Ensure Inuit participation and control in police services in Nunavik and on the Kativik Regional Police Force.

16.36 Ensure there are police services in all Inuit communities.

16.37 Amend laws, policies, and practices within Inuit Nunangat to reflect and recognize Inuit definitions of "family," "kinship" and "customs" to respect Inuit family structures.

16.38 Facilitate multi-agency interventions, particularly in cases of domestic violence, sexualized violence and poverty. Further, in response to domestic violence, early intervention and prevention programs and services must be prioritized.

16.39 Support and fund the establishment of culturally appropriate and effective child advocacy centres like the Umingmak Centre, the first child advocacy centre in Nunavut, throughout the Inuit homeland.

16.40 Develop responses to adverse childhood experiences that are culturally appropriate and evidence-based. 

16.41 Inuit women, Elders, youth, children and 2SLGBTQQIA people must be given space within governance systems in accordance with their civil and political rights.

16.42 We call upon the federal government to ensure the long-term, sustainable and equitable funding of Inuit women's, youths' and 2SLGBTQQIA people's groups.

16.43 Robust oversight mechanisms must be established to ensure services are delivered in a manner that is compliant with the human rights and Indigenous rights of Inuit. These mechanisms must be accessible and provide for meaningful recourse.

16.44 We call upon all governments to ensure the collection of disaggregated data in relation to Inuit to monitor and report on progress and the effectiveness of laws, policies and services designed to uphold the social, economic, political and cultural rights and well-being of Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

16.45 We call upon the federal government to acknowledge the findings of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission and to work to implement the recommendations therein.

16.46 Many people continue to look for information and the final resting place of their lost loved one. We call upon the federal government to support the work of the Nanilavut project on a long-term basis, with sustained funding so that it can continue to serve Inuit families as they look for answers to the questions of what happened to their loved ones. We further insist that it must provide for the option of repatriation of the remains of lost loved ones once they are located.

Métis-Specific Calls for Justice:

17.1 We call upon the federal government to uphold its constitutional responsibility to Métis people and to non-status people in the provision of all programs and services that fall under its responsibility.

17.2 We call upon the federal government to pursue the collection and dissemination of disaggregated data concerning violence against Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, including barriers they face in accessing their rights to safety, informed by Métis knowledge and experiences. We also call upon the federal government to support and fund research that highlights distinctive Métis experiences, including the gathering of more stories specific to Métis perspectives on violence.

17.3 We call upon all governments to ensure equitable representation of Métis voices in policy development, funding, and service delivery, and to include Métis voices and perspectives in decision-making, including Métis 2SLGBTQQIA people and youth, and to implement self-determined and culturally specific solutions for Métis people.

A seat at the sharing circle of the MMIWG inquiry hearing in Mani-Utenam, Que., is left empty for the victims of violence. (Julia Page/CBC)

17.4 We call upon all governments to fund and support Métis-specific programs and services that meet the needs of Métis people in an equitable manner, and dedicated Métis advocacy bodies and institutions, including but not limited to Métis health authorities and Métis child welfare agencies.

17.5 We call upon all governments to eliminate barriers to accessing programming and services for Métis, including but not limited to barriers facing Métis who do not reside in their home province.

17.6 We call upon all governments to pursue the implementation of a distinctions-based approach that takes into account the unique history of Métis communities and people, including the way that many issues have been largely ignored by levels of government and now present barriers to safety.

17.7 We call upon all governments to fund and to support culturally appropriate programs and services for Métis people living in urban centres, including those that respect the internal diversity of Métis communities with regards to spirituality, gender identity and cultural identity.

17.8 Design mandatory, ongoing cultural competency training for public servants (including staff working in policing, justice, education, health care, social work and government) in areas such as trauma-informed care, cultural safety training, anti-racism training and understanding of Métis culture and history.

17.9 Provide safe transportation options, particularly in rural, remote, and northern communities, including "safe rides" programs, and monitor high recruitment areas where Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals may be more likely to be targeted.

17.10 Respect Métis rights and individuals' self-identification as Métis.

17.11 Support and fund dialogue and relationships between Métis and First Nations communities.

17.12 We call upon police services to build partnerships with Métis communities, organizations and people to ensure culturally safe access to police services.

17.13 Educate police about the unique history and needs of Métis communities.

17.14 Police must establish better communication with Métis communities and populations through representative advisory boards.

17.15 Fund the expansion of community-based security models that include Métis perspectives and people, such as local peacekeeper officers or programs such as the Bear Clan Patrol.

17.16 Support self-determined and culturally specific needs-based child welfare services for Métis families that are focused on prevention of harm and maintenance of family unity. These services will also focus on: avoiding the need for foster care; restoring family unity and providing support for parents trying to reunite with children; healing for parents; and developing survivor-led programs to improve family safety. 

17.17 Funding and support for Métis child welfare agencies and for child placements in Métis homes.

17.18 Provide cultural programming for Métis children in foster care, especially when they are placed in non-Indigenous or non-Métis families.

17.19 Address Métis unemployment and poverty as a way to prevent child apprehension.

The Metis symbol. The report has 29 Metis-specific calls for justice. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

17.20 Fund programs for Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, including more access to traditional healing programs, treatment centres for youth, family support and violence prevention funding and initiatives for Métis, and the creation of no-barrier safe spaces, including spaces for Métis mothers and families in need.

17.21 Provide equitable health services to Métis and non-status First Nations Peoples in an equitable manner consistent with substantive human rights standards under services such as FNIHB.

17.22 Fully implement Jordan's Principle with reference to the Métis.

17.23 Provide Métis-specific programs and services that address emotional, mental, physical and spiritual dimensions of well-being, including coordinated or co-located services to offer holistic wraparound care.

17.24 Address a lack of knowledge about the Métis people and culture within Canadian society, including education and advocacy that highlights the positive history and achievements of Métis people and increases the visibility, understanding, and appreciation of Métis people.

17.25 Foster a positive sense of cultural identity among Métis communities. 

17.26 Revitalize the practise of Métis culture, including integrating Métis history and Métis languages into elementary and secondary school curricula, and programs and initiatives to help Métis people explore their family heritage and identity and reconnect with the land.

17.27 Pursue restorative justice and rehabilitation programs, including within correctional facilities, specific to Métis needs and cultural realities, to help address root causes of violence and reduce recidivism, and to support healing.

17.28 Increase victim support services specific to Métis needs to help Métis victims and families navigate the legal system.

17.29 We call upon all actors within the justice system to engage in education and training regarding the history and contemporary realities of Métis experiences.

2SLGBTQQIA-Specific Calls for Justice:

18.1 Fund and support greater awareness of 2SLGBTQQIA issues, and implement programs, services, and practical supports for 2SLGBTQQIA people that include distinctions-based approaches that take into account the unique challenges to safety for 2SLGBTQQIA individuals and groups.

18.2 Be inclusive of all perspectives in decision making, including those of 2SLGBTQQIA people and youth.

18.3 Change the way data is collected about 2SLGBTQQIA people to better reflect the presence of individuals and communities, and to improve the inclusion of 2SLGBTQQIA people in research.

18.4 Eliminate "either-or" gender options and include gender-inclusive, gender-neutral, or non-binary options — for example, an "X-option" — on reporting gender in all contexts, such as application and intake forms, surveys, status cards, census data and other data collection. Increase precision in reporting options. 

18.5 Ensure programs and spaces are co-designed to meet the needs of 2SLGBTQQIA clients in their communities.

18.6 Fund youth programs, including mentorship, leadership and support services that are broadly accessible and reach out to 2SLGBTQQIA individuals.

18.7 Increase support for existing successful grassroots initiatives, including consistent core funding.

18.8 Support networking and community building for 2SLGBTQQIA people who may be living in different urban centres (and rural and remote areas), and to increase opportunities for 2SLGBTQQIA networking, collaboration, and peer support through a national organization, regional organizations, advocacy body and/or a task force.

18.9 We call upon First Nations, Métis, and Inuit leadership and advocacy bodies to equitably include 2SLGBTQQIA people, and for national Indigenous organizations to have a 2SLGBTQQIA council or similar initiative.

18.10 Provide safe and dedicated ceremony and cultural places and spaces for 2SLGBTQQIA youth and adults, and advocate for 2SLGBTQQIA inclusion in all cultural spaces and ceremonies. 

18.11 Accommodate non-binary gender identities in program and service design, and offer gender-neutral washrooms and change rooms in facilities.

18.12 Better investigate crimes against 2SLGBTQQIA people, and ensure accountability for investigations and handling of cases involving 2SLGBTQQIA people.

18.13 Educate police regarding 2SLGBTQQIA people and experiences to address discrimination, especially homophobia and transphobia, in policing.

18.14 Ensure the safety of 2SLGBTQQIA people in the sex industry.

18.15 Conduct research and knowledge gathering on pre-colonial knowledge and teachings about the place, roles and responsibilities of 2SLGBTQQIA people within their respective communities, to support belonging, safety and well-being.

18.16 Support specific Knowledge Keeper gatherings on the topic of reclaiming and re-establishing space and community for 2SLGBTQQIA people.

A powwow is held at the 22nd annual International Two-Spirit Gathering in Manitoba in 2010. Elder Wilfred Abigosis holds the Two-Spirit Eagle Staff. (Albert McLeod)

18.17 Re-educate communities and individuals who have learned to reject 2SLGBTQQIA people, or who deny their important history and contemporary place within communities and in ceremony, and to address transphobia and homophobia in communities.

18.18 Educate service providers on the realities of 2SLGBTQQIA people and their distinctive needs, and provide mandatory cultural competency training for all social service providers.

18.19 Educate the public on the history of non-gender binary people in Indigenous societies, and use media, including social media, as a way to build awareness and understanding of 2SLGBTQQIA issues.

18.20 Educate students about gender and sexual identity, including 2SLGBTQQIA identities, in schools.

18.21 Make people aware of the dangers of misgendering in correctional systems and facilities and ensure that the rights of trans people are protected.

18.22 Correctional services must provide dedicated 2SLGBTQQIA support services and cultural supports.

18.23 We call upon coroners and others involved in the investigation of missing and murdered Indigenous trans-identified individuals and individuals with non-binary gender identities to use gender-neutral or non-binary options, such as an X-marker, for coroners' reports and for reporting information related to the crimes, as appropriate.

18.24 Address homelessness, poverty and other socio-economic barriers to equitable and substantive rights for 2SLGBTQQIA people.

18.25 Build safe spaces for people who need help and who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, which includes access to safe, dedicated 2SLGBTQQIA shelters and housing, dedicated beds in shelters for trans and non-binary individuals, and 2SLGBTQQIA-specific support services for 2SLGBTQQIA individuals in housing and shelter spaces.

18.26 Educate health service providers about the realities and needs of 2SLGBTQQIA people, and recognize substantive human rights dimensions to health services for 2SLGBTQQIA people.

18.27 Provide mental health supports for 2SLGBTQQIA people, including wraparound services that take into account particular barriers to safety for 2SLGBTQQIA people.

18.28 Expand and dedicate health services for 2SLGBTQQIA individuals including health centres, substance use treatment programs and mental health services and resources.

18.29 Create roles for Indigenous care workers who would hold the same authority as community mental health nurses and social workers in terms of advocating for 2SLGBTQQIA clients and testifying in court as recognized professionals.

18.30 Reduce wait times for sex-reassignment surgery.

18.31 Educate youth about 2SLGBTQQIA health.

18.32 We call upon child welfare agencies to engage in education regarding the realities and perspectives of 2SLGBTQQIA youth; to provide 2SLGBTQQIA competency training to parents and caregivers, especially to parents of trans children and in communities outside of urban centres; and to engage in and provide education for parents, foster families, and other youth service providers regarding the particular barriers to safety for 2SLGBTQQIA youth.


CBC News
Mohawk woman looks to MMIWG inquiry closing ceremony for healing
00:00 02:28

Cheryl McDonald testified at the MMIWG inquiry hearing in Montreal and says it was “freeing” for her. On June 3, she intends to attend the inquiry’s closing ceremony. 2:28

For immediate emotional assistance, call 1-844-413-6649. This is a national, toll-free 24/7 crisis call line providing support for anyone who requires emotional assistance related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. You can also access long-term health support services such as mental health counselling and community-based cultural services through Indigenous Services Canada.


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