Regional Engagement on the Development of the MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan Report
In May and June 2021 the BCAFN and the AFN Women’s Council co-hosted a series of virtual engagement sessions on the development of the National Action Plan on MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+. A “What we Heard’ report based on these sessions and the written, audio, and video submissions that were received has been prepared. This report will be integrated into the AFN Women’s Council’s contribution to the National Action Plan, “Breathing Life into the Calls for Justice”. It will also serve as a foundation for BCAFN’s advocacy at the provincial and federal levels.
The “What we Heard” report highlights 5 priority areas for action that received the most input and will inform BCAFN’s advocacy: Human and Indigenous Rights and Governmental Obligations; Culture; Health and Wellness; Health and Wellness Service Providers; and Police Services.
BCAFN would like to express our gratitude to all the MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+ family members and survivors who participated. This process captured your voices, knowledge, wisdom, and lived experiences. Your experience, voice, and perspective are so important as all governments, sectors of society, and indeed all people in Canada must work to implement “Reclaiming Power & Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls to Justice” in partnership with Indigenous people, and with the leadership of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, family members, and survivors. We raise our hands to each and every one of you for your courage, vulnerability, and faith in being a part of this process. We recognize the deeply personal nature of this crisis, and the decades of advocacy by so many.
At the same time, we acknowledge that this process was not perfect, and will work on ensuring BCAFN’s advocacy can be more representative and inclusive. We also acknowledge and respect those who chose not to participate in this process.
The British Columbia Region offered a series of virtual engagement sessions to help develop a First Nations National Action Plan to End Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA Peoples. This work was undertaken in collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations and British Columbia Assembly of First Nations Regional Office.
During the sessions our co-facilitators opened up dialogue around several guiding questions, in addition to other areas participants may have wished to discuss. Questions included:
- What areas need to be addressed immediately in your region to end violence against MMIWG2S+?
- How do you see First Nations values, knowledge, and culture woven into the National Action Plan? Regionally? Locally?
- How can governments (federal, provincial, municipal, First Nation) better support family members and survivors while the implementation of the National Action Plan happens?
- Are there examples of addressing violence in your community or region that are working well? Please share. How do you see them being expanded or enhanced?
- Is there anything else you would like to share to contribute towards development of the National Action Plan?
Call toll-free the Hope for Wellness Help Line for immediate help, 24/7 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-855-242-3310
Call toll-free the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line for immediate help: 1-866-925-4419
Go to the Wellness Supports page for additional contact information
Meet the Facilitation Team
Chastity Davis will be facilitating virtual engagement sessions with survivors and families from the British Columbia Region.
Chastity Davis-Alphonse is a mixed-heritage woman of First Nations and European descent. She is a proud member of the Tla’amin Nation on her mother’s side and intergenerational residential school survivor. Chastity’s mom is Nona Harry, and her late grandparents were Lena and Joe Harry. On her father’s side, she is English and Ukrainian. Chastity has been adopted into the Heiltsuk Nation by the White family at their potlatch ceremony and has recently married into the Tsilhqot’in Nation.
Chastity has been an advocate and activist for the safety, health, and wellness of Indigenous women for over 15 years in a variety of different roles. From marching on the streets in the annual MMIWG2S+ Memorial march on Vancouver’s DTES, to encouraging companies to respond to the 231 Calls to Justice, to working inside communities with Indigenous women on sexual assault response training, to serving as a volunteer on the Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women for 9 years – 6 of that in the role of Chair advising the provincial Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, to working as a strategic advisor to the federal government on the United Nations Declaration the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and with the federal impact assessment office to advise on Indigenous Gender Based Analysis Plus (IGBA+) to offering leadership, yoga, and meditation workshops inside Indigenous communities for Indigenous women.
Additionally, Chastity has worked in over 100 of the First Nation communities in British Columbia and with several large and small corporations across Canada. Chastity’s consulting business has won several awards recognizing her work and achievements in the reconciliation space. She has recently launched, Deyen – An Invitation to Transform, one of the only online learning hubs that centers and shares Indigenous women’s voices, knowledge, wisdom, and lived experiences with Canadians and beyond. Go to her website for more information.
Racelle Kooy will be facilitating virtual engagement sessions with survivors and families from the British Columbia Region.
Of St’atl’imc, Secwepemc and Dutch ancestry, Racelle is a member of Samahquam First Nation and lives in her Secwepemc homelands. Racelle has borne witness to how we are all affected by the loss of our beloved relatives. She has participated in MMIWG2S ceremonies, vigils and marches across Turtle Island. She served as the “Keeper” for the Walking with Our Sisters exhibit when it was at the First Nations University of Canada, being the direct contact with the public as well as organisations, and serving as event organiser and host.
Racelle co-chaired AFN assemblies during the time of the National Inquiry and it was her honour to hold space and bear witness to the spontaneous testimony of MMIWG2S families as well as ensure that Chiefs, proxies, and family members could directly ask questions of the commissioners. She was additionally honoured to serve as the bilingual facilitator for the AFN MMIWG2S pre-inquiry engagement.
Adept at working with BC First Nations and across Canada as a bilingual co-chair, lead facilitator and community engagement specialist, Racelle regularly steps into the hard places of needed dialogue, be it the realities of natural disaster, polarizing views on energy, housing, women’s rights, or language loss.
As long-time helper to an Elder (in ceremonies and healing lodges), Racelle has learned much about what it takes to ensure a culturally safe place, pulling from our teachings and ceremonial practices, to what is now referred to as trauma-informed. As a practitioner of her ancestral ways of spiritual practice, she has done her best to integrate key aspects of these practices into her facilitation approach. She likens it to upholding the ways of our kye7e (grandmothers), ensuring that her ego is in check, and that her ears, eyes, and spirit are open to observe and meet the needs of participants.
BC Virtual Engagement Schedule
Overview of 231 Calls to Action and Update on work undertaken since its June 2019 release
A registration link will be provided once registration for all engagement begins.
Virtual Pre-Sessions have been scheduled for survivors and family members in the British Columbia Region to be provided an update on the work undertaken by the AFN Women’s Council and the federal government since the release of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report in June 2019. The Virtual Pre-Session will also provide a high-level overview of the 231 Calls for Justiceas well as share the purpose for the engagement sessions and how the information shared will influence the National Action Plan moving forward.
|Virtual Pre-Session Date||Virtual Pre-Session Time|
|Wednesday, May 12, 2021*||10:00am-12:00pm PST|
|Thursday, May 13, 2021||5:00pm-7:00pm PST|
Virtual Engagement Sessions with family members and survivors: Priorities For National Action Plan
Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19, Virtual Engagement Sessions are scheduled for survivors and family members in the British Columbia Region. These sessions are designed to hear from participants on which of the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice they want prioritized, as well as any additional guidance or input on the National Action Plan to End Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Peoples. Additionally, we want to encourage participants that attend the engagement session to share what can be done in ourcommunities, nations, and regions in the short and long term to keep our loved ones safe.
|Friday, May 14, 2021||2:00pm-4:00pm PST|
|Saturday, May 15, 2021||10:00am-12:00pm PST|
|Sunday, May 16, 2021||10:00am-12:00pm PST|
|Monday, May 17, 2021||5:00pm-7:00pm PST|
|Tuesday, May 18, 2021||5:00pm-7:00pm PST|
|Monday, May 24, 2021||10:00am-12:00pm PST|
|Friday, May 28, 2021||2:00pm-4:00pm PST|
|Tuesday, June 1, 2021||12:00pm-2:00pm PST|
The dates were chosen with family members and survivors in mind with a variety of days and times (morning, afternoon, evening, weekdays, and weekends) to choose from. This is to ensure that family members and survivors have the option of when they would like to engage and to ensure that they are engaging in a supportive environment. One of the engagement sessions will be specific to engage with 2SLGBTTQQIA+.
The support at each engagement session will include:
- One Elder to open and close the session in a cultural and good way,
- two MMWIG2S+ regional coordinators from the First Nation Health Authority (FNHA)/ Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS),
- graphic facilitator to capture the dialogue visually,
- note taker to capture the discussion.
There will also be two other pathways for family members and survivors to share through an online survey and an option to record their input on their electronic device and submit it online as well. This provides choice and alternative ways for voices, wisdom, solutions to be shared.
BC Regional Reporting
The facilitators for the British Columbia Regional engagement sessions will also be developing a report of what they have heard during the virtual engagement sessions. The facilitators will be providing two virtual sessions to provide a report back to the region of the outcomes from the engagement process.
Save the date for one of the Report Back sessions:
|Friday, June 18, 2021*||12:00pm-2:00pm PST|
|Saturday, June 19, 2021||10:00am-12:00pm PST|