Sask. offering funding for local projects that support Indigenous women and girls

Mary Ann Morin participates in a Red Dress Day demonstration at the corner of 15th Street and Sixth Avenue East. – Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald

Grassroots efforts to prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls may be eligible for financial support from the provincial government.

The deadline to apply for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls+ (MMIWG) Community Response Fund is Oct. 4. 

Applicants across Saskatchewan can receive up to $40,000 for projects that foster awareness, empowerment and healing of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.

“Our province has been guided by the voices of Indigenous women,” said Don McMorris, minister responsible for First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs.

According to a news release, the government developed the fund with Indigenous women who have “lived experience in violence prevention, advocacy and mental health.”

McMorris said the province’s support for these projects is intended to address issues raised in the MMIWG national inquiry.

“Last year, 12 community-led projects received support through this fund. Our government continues to be committed to meaningful and lasting reconciliation for the benefit of all Saskatchewan residents and I encourage communities and organizations to apply,” he said.

Lori Whiteman is from Standing Buffalo First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, and is the daughter of a long-time missing person.

“Those of us who designed the fund were not focused on just raising awareness about murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, but supporting those who work directly with survivors,” said Whiteman.

“We wanted to make sure the resources were available to do the work.”

The Saskatchewan government has set aside $400,000 to distribute to local grassroots Indigenous groups, non-profits and municipalities looking to partner with Indigenous communities, and non-Indigenous non-profits with Indigenous involvement.

For more information, visit the MMIWG Community Response Fund page on the Government of Saskatchewan’s website.