Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald have pledged to “speak out against racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia” and “protect, support, and promote the safety of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people” in response to the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).
“We commit ourselves in partnership with other churches, institutions, and movements to act on these Calls for Justice, ‘to give them life,’ a life that frees Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people from the violence that mars their lives,” the statement reads.
The statement also makes a public pledge toward two particular Calls for Justice: to “confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs” and to “protect, support, and promote the safety of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by acknowledging and respecting the value of every person and every community, as well as the rights of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to generate their own, self-determined solutions.”
The inquiry’s final report contains 231 of these Calls for Justice, which it calls “legal imperatives” and “not optional.”
Hiltz’s and MacDonald’s statement “receives and welcomes” the report with “respect and gratitude,” and acknowledges “the courage and strength of survivors, families and loved ones” who gave their testimony over the course of the inquiry. “We hold in our prayers all who mourn the murder or disappearance of their daughters and grand-daughters, sisters and nieces, partners and friends,” the statement reads.
The statement also laments the church’s “complicity in the systemic racism that sustains an environment in which Indigenous women and girls are so highly vulnerable to human trafficking and to atrocities of unspeakable abuse.”
The full statement is available on Anglican.ca.