Iskweu project is aimed at reducing and ultimately eradicating the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (trans, two-spirit) of Quebec. To offer support and ensure adequate response from institutions when somone goes missing. Iskweu project aims at reducing barriers to accessing support and receiving adequate response from institutions that have historically discriminated against them.
The Iskweu project is an initiative by the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. The project wishes to respond to an immediate need for assistance expressed by families and loved ones in the case of an Indigenous woman or girl (trans, two -spirit) goes missing.
What is the MMIWG crisis?
Violence against Indigenous women and girls (trans, two-spirit) is a recurrent theme in Canada’s colonial history. The context of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (trans, two-spirit) interlocks with the trauma lived by Indigenous peoples and the various attempts, by the government to assimilate them.
For more than 30 years, families, organizations and activists have been asking previous governments and the public to bring light to this national crisis that continue to affect Indigenous women and girls (trans, two-spirit) today.
Studies indicate that there are certain vulnerabilities that increase the risk of a girl or woman (trans, two-spirit) from going missing:
- Being homeless
- Being involved in the sex industry/sex trade
- Having issues with addiction
- Being in an abusive relationship
- Having mental health issues
The lack of proper responses, resources and practices put into place specifically to help and protect these women and girls (trans, two-spirit) contribute to this ongoing issue. Police throughout Canada and Quebec have in many instances failed in their police practices which has heavily contributed to this social crisis.
The project goals are:
- To make sure that police file a report and do a proper investigation
- To ensure that the police adopt best practices in responding to this crisis
- To assist families, friends when an Indigenous woman or girl (trans, two-spirit) goes missing and that they have the emotional support during this very difficult time
- To implement prevention strategies within a harm reduction model with the community and community partners
- To develop a welcome kit for Indigenous women and girls (trans, two-spirit) when they are new to the city of Montreal
We hope to set a precedent for best practices in responding to this crisis.