While Indigenous rights advocates and surviving family members wait for the federal government to actually begin its inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, KAIROS has launched an online information hub to provide a window into the ongoing process.
“We want to play a positive role in making sure people have the information that they need in order to follow the inquiry,” says Katy Quinn, Indigenous rights program co-ordinator for KAIROS, an ecumenical advocacy group that counts The United Church of Canada as a member.
The hub includes up-to-date news stories and videos, an easy-to-read timeline of events, and links to related advocacy organizations. It also features a list of actions for individuals or community groups, including hosting a film night, signing a petition or attending a vigil.
“I hope people come away from the hub with a deeper understanding of the issue,” says Quinn. “It’s a Canadian issue, not [only] an Indigenous issue. This is something that we all need to be involved in.”
Compared to the rest of Canada’s female population, Indigenous women and girls are three times more likely to disappear and four times more likely to be the victims of homicide. These devastating statistics are why the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for a national inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, a recommendation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government agreed to last December. The inquiry was officially launched in August, but has yet to begin in earnest.
Quinn notes that volunteer Joanne Scofield did the bulk of the work on the hub itself. “It’s quite inspiring what can be achieved when a volunteer is really committed.” You can visit the information hub here