The NWT’s action plan in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is set to be published in May 2021.
A document tabled in the territory’s legislature last week outlines a six-month timeline for the action plan to be developed and finalized.
The territory decided to pursue an NWT-specific action plan in July, two months after the federal government said Ottawa’s national action plan had been delayed.
The NWT had faced criticism prior to that point for not developing a plan of its own. Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya in June said the territory was “passing the buck.”
Last week’s document states the GNWT will review each of the national inquiry’s Calls for Justice by the end of November, identifying which department is responsible, how that call is already being addressed, where gaps exist, and how long filling those gaps might take.
The territory will compile that information in December and January, then spend February talking to Indigenous governments, people with lived experience related to the Calls for Justice, and other relevant parties.
A finalized action plan will be available from May.
That plan is expected to highlight Calls for Justice not currently addressed by the NWT’s programs and services, alongside a timeline explaining how and when those gaps will be filled.
“The GNWT is committed to responding to the Calls for Justice and taking the necessary steps in order to address the systemic causes of violence, inequality and racism that contribute to the problem of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” the territorial government stated.
“The development of a comprehensive action plan must be prioritized by all levels of government, including all GNWT departments and agencies, and involve the residents and communities of the Northwest Territories.”