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Indigenous members appointed to Premier’s council

Press Release

Oct 04, 2022

Council members will advise the government on preventing violence and increasing safety for Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit (2S+) people.

Appointees bring diverse First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives from urban and rural communities across the province. They are leaders, experts and advocates of violence prevention, as well as friends and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people. Each understands how systemic biases affect personal safety and economic security.

“Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people face unparalleled levels of violence in Alberta. Families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, 2S+ people and survivors have lived experience that will make government action meaningful and effective and make our province safer for Indigenous people and all Albertans. No one deserves to live in fear.”

Jason Kenney, Premier
Key responsibilities for the council will include:

  • Providing advice to government.
  • Engaging different levels of government and other stakeholders, such as service providers, civil society and the private sector, to increase action and resources.
  • Planning, which includes implementing an action plan aligned with ministry mandates, and monitoring progress.

“These talented council members are a powerful force for much-needed change in our province. They are proven community leaders who will guide us to a future where Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people are treated with dignity and respect. We are at a critical point in this ongoing crisis. This council offers a concrete way forward to a better future.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“The Elders and Knowledge Keepers teach us patience, but it doesn’t ease the heartache experienced by many family members still searching for justice. Building on the work of the National Inquiry and Alberta Joint Working Group on MMIWG, the Premier’s council will guide the implementation of the actions, including the Calls for Justice, and recommend actions on the path to justice for Indigenous people. We hope our women, young girls and 2S+ people will soon be safe in Alberta.”

Rachelle Venne, chair, Premier’s Council on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Council members

Council members include experts, service providers and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people. They bring valuable knowledge, including lived experience and distinct cultural insight.

  • Rachelle Venne, CEO, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
  • April Eve Wiberg, founding member, Stolen Sisters & Brothers Awareness Movement
  • Josie Nepinak, executive director, Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society
  • Ashleigh Cardinal, president, Edmonton 2 Spirit Society
  • Cheryl Uchytil, family member and advocate on MMIWG issues
  • Kimmy Houle, director, Environment and Economic Development, Blackfoot Confederacy Tribal Council
  • Meeka Otway, advocate on Inuit issues and member of the First Nations Women’s Council on Economic Security

Four ex officio members are appointed to the council, one from each of the four ministries that are the most relevant to advancing the recommendations put forward by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls to Justice and the Alberta Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ 113 Pathways to Justice:

  • Justice and Solicitor General
  • Alberta Health
  • Indigenous Relations
  • Community and Social Services

Related information

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