News / Winnipeg

Manitoba politicians support day to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

An NDP MLA brought forth Bill 221, which would see Oct. 4 become an official day to honour MMIWG in the province.

St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine is the NDP critic for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

John Woods/The Canadian Press

St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine is the NDP critic for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

A bill brought forth by a Manitoba MLA to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls has earned unanimous support.

NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine put forward Bill 221, The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day Act, which got a second reading at the legislature Thursday.

Fontaine proposed setting aside October 4 as an official day to honour MMIWG and spotlight families' plights.

"Oct. 4 is a traditional day for vigils across the country for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It is an appropriate day to honour Manitoba’s lost daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, partners and friends," Fontaine said in a news release.

"This bill still needs to go to committee as soon as possible so it can become law before Oct. 4 of this year. We call upon the government to work with us to make this important day a reality."

According to a 2014 RCMP report, nearly 1,200 Indigenous women and girls were reported missing or murdered since 1980. The federal government has launched a national inquiry into the issue, which has been plagued by delays and inaction.

Fontaine said it was "gratifying" having all MLAs support her billthe first NDP bill to pass second reading since last year's provincial election, the party said.

"By creating an official day, we will bring greater recognition of the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls. This is also one small step toward honouring those whose lives were tragically lost," Fontaine said.

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