The Government of Canada has committed to reducing violence against Indigenous Women and Girls. Their newest focus is building a relationship with Pauktuutit with an MOU and a $898,000 dollar, 36-month project.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this month with the Pauktuutit which is the national voice of Inuit women in Canada. This MOU will provide a mechanism for INAC and Pauktuutit to develop a joint workplan on various mutual priorities. This MOU outlines that regular meetings will be had between the Minister of INAC and the President of Pauktuutit twice a year.
In a press release, Minister Bennett commented that the agreement, "illustrates the Government of Canada's commitment to listening to Inuit women as key partners in reconciliation, and to work with them on issues that have a profound impact on their daily lives."
Furthermore, Pauktuutit received $898,000 for a project that includes a 36-month survey of Inuit men and boys and the best methods of reducing violence against Inuit women and girls. The project will include the four Inuit homelands: Nunavut, Nunavik (Quebec), Nunatsiavut (Labrador), and Inuvialuit (NWT).
In Pauktuutit’s new release on the issue, they focused on the road ahead.
"We will do a broad survey among Inuit women, men and youth so we can better understand the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours that support these rates of violence. We will be developing a role model campaign, rooted in our culture, language, strength and resilience, to encourage and support others and give hope that a better future is always possible."
This MOU and project are part of a larger movement in Canada, where the Government of Canada is working towards understanding and reducing violence against Indigenous Women and Girls. However, this specific step is an import piece of the reconciliation process in Canada, because as the President of Pauktuutit Rebecca Kudloo said in an interview with APTN, "A lot of times we’re [Inuit] lumped in with First Nations. We’re very different. We have very different realities than First Nations. For instance, if government puts out money for shelters on reserve, we lose out."
Another large piece of this are the ongoing consultations surrounding Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).