Thunder Bay Launches Urban Indigenous Community Safety Plan on MMIWG Report Anniversary

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Lowering Flags is Not Enough

Collaborative Initiative Aims to Address Systemic Issues and Promote Safety for Indigenous Women and Girls

Thunder Bay, ON – On the fifth anniversary of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), a coalition of local organizations has announced the development of the Urban Indigenous Community Safety Plan. This groundbreaking initiative, a first for a city the size of Thunder Bay, brings together Anishinabek Nation, the City of Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nation, Thunder Bay Police Service, and the Thunder Bay Police Service Board.

Thunder Bay Police Service Chief Darcy Fleury and Police Service Board Chair Karen Machado both expressed strong support for the plan and the need for government funding to address public safety challenges for Indigenous people in Thunder Bay.

“It is an honour to work with such knowledgeable and progressive partners to improve the protection and well-being of Indigenous women and girls in our community. This Indigenous-led, holistic, and proactive approach recognizes the powerful impact of collaboration on community safety,” stated Thunder Bay Police Service, Chief Darcy Fleury.

“As Chair, and on behalf of the Board, we strongly support the work of ONWA and other community groups that have recognized a need to address the critical public safety challenges that exist for Indigenous people in Thunder Bay, especially Indigenous women and girls. We call on all levels of government to provide the funding necessary to result in the safety of Indigenous peoples in Thunder Bay,” added Thunder Bay Police Service Board Chair Karen Machado

Funded by Public Safety Canada’s Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative (ACSPI), the plan represents a collective commitment to addressing systemic issues impacting Indigenous women and girls and fostering safety, healing, and reconciliation.

“Community Safety Planning Initiatives are fundamental in creating safe environments where women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples can thrive,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe. “Uniting through these shared responsibilities strengthens our relationships and will propel our work towards evolving outcomes and successes.”

Mayor Ken Boshcoff emphasized the city’s dedication to reconciliation and addressing systemic community issues. “This collaborative effort is crucial. We prioritize the safety of Indigenous women and their families and thank ONWA for their continuous advocacy.”

Chief Michele Solomon of Fort William First Nation highlighted the importance of cultural sensitivity and community collaboration. “Our commitment is to ensure the well-being of our women and to develop a positive path forward through this partnership.”

The Urban Indigenous Community Safety Plan will be developed through a community-driven process, addressing the unique safety concerns and priorities of Indigenous women, girls, and their families. This initiative reflects a shared commitment to honouring the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and gender-diverse people, aiming to prevent further tragedies through proactive and community-led efforts.

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