Primate and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop respond to MMIWG inquiry with pledge of support

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Young Inuit throat singers perform at a 2016 vigil honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) on Parliament Hill. The national MMIWG inquiry released its final report earlier this month. Photo: Art Babych/Shutterstock

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).

In a statement released June 17, Hiltz and MacDonald committed to act on the “Calls for Justice” issued by the inquiry, which submitted its final report earlier this month.

“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.

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Joelle Kidd
Joelle Kidd joined the Anglican Journal in 2017 as staff writer. She has worked as an editor and writer for the Winnipeg-based Fanfare Magazine Group and as freelance copy editor for Naida Communications.

1 COMMENT

  1. If you are speaking out for justice for members of the gay community, have you spoken out against the act of discrimination practised by the Archbishop of Canterbury against gay bishops going to the Lambeth Conference?? The AofC is a hypocrite

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