B.C. has announced $5.5 million to support its commitment to end violence against Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people, and it has released a status update on B.C.’s response to the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Announced Saturday (June 3) by the Public Safety Ministry, the provincial government is providing the grant through the Path Forward Community Fund, managed by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. The fund, a release notes, provides funding for community planning and capacity building, and to “ensure the self-determination of Indigenous communities to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.”
This $5.5-million grant is in addition to an original announcement of $5.3 million in 2022 to “respond to priorities identified through Indigenous community engagement.”
The top priority was to create a community fund that is accessible to First Nations communities, urban and off-reserve communities, Métis, Inuit citizens and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities “so that Indigenous communities could create culturally safe and appropriate solutions for issues that result in violence.”
The province says that, to date, the fund has supported 33 Indigenous-led community projects addressing Indigenous-specific system causes of gender-based violence.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people experience violence at a much higher rate than other populations.
“Understanding and breaking down the underlying and systemic causes of violence is key to our government’s work toward lasting reconciliation and advancing gender equality, and this funding will serve to further that work.”
The government has also released a status update on B.C.’s “A Path Forward: Priorities and Strategies,” which is in response to the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
That update includes 28 provincial government mandate-letter commitments that align with the Reclaiming Power and Place report. That report was released four years ago.
The 28 mandates in the 2023 status update include: safe spaces and safety plans, healing supports, strengthening relationships with partners and access to resources and recommendations.