Canada begins consultations on alert system for missing Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people |

Ottawa has started consultations on the creation of a public alert system, the Red Dress Alert, for missing Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people.

NDP Winnipeg Centre MP Leah Gazan has been a vocal advocate for an Amber-Alert-like system for missing Indigenous people for quite some time. She spoke with Global News Sunday morning.

“We are in the beginning stages of consultations and that’s really going to be born out of the discussions we have with folks who are working on the front lines, impacted family members and leadership,” she said.

“We’ll see (what happens) after the consultations are done.”

Gazan said the alert system is needed now more than ever before, and the Canadian government agrees.

“The current Prime Minister called the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited diverse gendered people an ongoing genocide. It is at crisis levels and has been acknowledged at the United Nations level,” she said.

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“We know that Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited diverse gendered peoples are going missing at disproportional rates. We also know through a national inquiry that, should we go missing, the systems in place to protect us have not done what needs to be done to make sure we are safe and we are found.”

The consultation process just started this past Friday.

“I was up very late on Friday meeting with groups. That will guide the directions we are pursuing going forward,” Gazan said.

“I want to make sure that it is done in an appropriate way, it is done in a trauma-informed way and it’s done where the voices that need to be heard are heard.”

Gazan said she has been pushing for the Canadian government to create the Red Dress Alert system since she was elected in 2019. She wants to see the system in place and operational “in the new year.”

“Every moment we wait someone else goes missing,” Gazan said.

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