Healthy Communities

Unveiling the truth: Remembering Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relations

07 September 2023 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto

Written by Jenna Robar, Manager, Indigenous Relationships 

This blog post is about a sensitive topic. Here are resources to help.

In the heart of our communities, a dark and unsettling truth has persisted for far too long – this epidemic is known today as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relations (MMIR). The MMIR movement encapsulates the tireless efforts of Indigenous advocates, allies, and organizations working to raise awareness, seek justice, and address the alarming rates at which Indigenous Peoples are going missing or being killed. This deeply concerning phenomenon has cast a shadow over the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals across the nation. While we've seen progress in some areas, there is much work to be done to address the root causes of this crisis. In this blog post, we aim to shine a light on this issue, provide an overview of the calls to action, and share resources for raising awareness and effecting change.

*There are two distinct acronyms used in this blog post that are related to this crisis, MMIWG and MMIR. While MMIWG stands for 'Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,' we use the term MMIR, which stands for 'Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relations,' to be more inclusive of the broader impact of this crisis. Both terms are used to address the urgent and tragic issue of missing and murdered Indigenous individuals. For more information on why we choose to use the term MMIR, you can read this insightful article from

The issue of MMIR is an ongoing crisis that demands our attention, action, and advocacy. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) released a comprehensive report that outlines the gravity of this issue and presents a roadmap for change. It's a call for justice that demands a collaborative effort from all of us to protect Indigenous Relations and prevent future tragedies.

The MMIWG Report comprises 231 Calls for Justice, each highlighting a critical aspect of the crisis and presenting recommendations for change. These calls are divided into several categories, encompassing diverse aspects of Indigenous lives and experiences. From the need to address systemic racism and colonial violence to improving education, justice, health, and support systems, the report covers a wide range of concerns. While some progress has been made, many of these calls remain unaddressed.

The report presents a comprehensive analysis of the issue, revealing its far-reaching impact on various aspects of Indigenous lives. From education to health care, from socio-economic conditions to the justice system, the crisis has pervasive effects. For instance, Call 8.4 urges the implementation of educational programs to teach Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals about the historical and contemporary contributions of Indigenous Peoples. By fostering mutual understanding and respect, these programs can contribute to dismantling stereotypes and promoting inclusivity.

To support collective efforts in addressing MMIR, various organizations have compiled resources that provide valuable insights and information. The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s (NIWRC) MMIR Special Collection offers a range of resources addressing the issues. It assists advocates, professionals, and individuals alike in better understanding the crisis and taking proactive steps toward change.

Additionally, ONWA's Learning Resources provide an overview of Ontario’s Pathways to Safety Report, offering a deeper understanding of the systemic response to MMIR. The Canadian government's Federal Pathway Annual Progress Report highlights the work completed to address the issue, providing a transparent view of the ongoing efforts to combat MMIR.

While the issue of MMIR is undeniably heartbreaking, it's also essential to recognize stories of resilience and change. The CBC's Mother Sister Daughter interactive news series delves into 18 stories illustrating the challenges faced by families due to systemic failures. These narratives provide a human face to the crisis, emphasizing the urgent need for change

Moving forward

As we reflect on the sobering reality of MMIR, we must acknowledge that progress requires collective action. Each of us has a role to play in raising awareness, advocating for change, and supporting Indigenous community members. By engaging with the resources mentioned and educating ourselves about MMIR, we can contribute to a brighter and safer future for all Indigenous Relations.

In the spirit of unity and empathy, let's continue to shed light on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relations. The MMIWG report's Calls for Justice serve as a blueprint for change, while the resources and stories shared here provide pathways for action. Together, let's work towards justice, healing, and a future where all Indigenous community members can live free from fear and violence.

Taking action and accessing resources

  • Attend Community Events: Stay informed about local events, workshops, and discussions that focus on Indigenous rights, history, and justice.
  • Follow hashtag #MMIWG2S / #MMIR on social media to find local events in your area!
  • Support Indigenous Organizations: Contribute to organizations that work towards justice, safety, and equity for Indigenous relations.

Remember, our collective efforts can bring about meaningful change. Let's take the time to read, listen, learn, and engage, as we stand together in pursuit of justice for all.

Online learning

Read the Full Report

Dive deeper into the MMIWG inquiry report to understand the context, challenges, and calls for justice.

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) Special Collection

Explore a comprehensive collection of resources designed to address the MMIR crisis. This collection is a valuable asset for professionals, advocates, and individuals seeking to deepen their understanding and contribute to change.

ONWA Learning Resources on MMIWG

Discover ONWA's resources, including an interactive placemat that complements Ontario’s response to the MMIR crisis. This resource incorporates cultural elements to enhance your understanding.

Federal Pathway Annual Progress Report

Stay informed about the Government of Canada's progress in addressing MMIR through its Federal Pathway initiatives with this comprehensive progress report.

NWAC Action Plan to End the Attack Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and Gender-Diverse People

Explore NWAC's strategic action plan to combat MMIR and promote the well-being of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals.

NWAC Knowledge Centre

Discover a diverse range of resources that contribute to the social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals.

CBC News Investigation — Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Delve into CBC News' investigation into cases involving Indigenous women's deaths or disappearances, offering profiles of individuals and shedding light on cases that require further inquiry.

National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls — Interim Report

Read the National Inquiry's Interim Report, which provides insights into ongoing efforts to address the challenges surrounding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relations.

Exploring stories and documentaries

Engage further with the MMIR crisis through impactful narratives that highlight the experiences and challenges faced by Indigenous individuals:

"Mother Sister Daughter”

Experience the impactful "Mother Sister Daughter" interactive news piece by CBC News, which underscores the urgent need for reform in various areas, including education, justice, and health. With only two of the 231 calls for justice completed and more than half not yet started, these videos reveal the system failures that deeply affect families.

"Colonization Road"

This documentary explores the historical and contemporary impact of colonization on Indigenous communities in Canada.

"Our Sisters in Spirit"

This documentary explores the stories of Indigenous families affected by violence and the challenges they face in seeking justice.


Explore engaging podcasts that delve into various aspects of the MMIR crisis and the broader challenges faced by Indigenous communities.

"Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo"

Investigates the disappearance of Cleo Semaganis Nicotine, a young Cree girl who was adopted into an American family.

"Red Man Laughing"

Hosted by Anishinaabe comedian Ryan McMahon, this podcast discusses various issues affecting Indigenous communities, including MMIR.

"All My Relations"

Explores the connections between Indigenous communities, land, and each other, touching on various issues, including MMIR.

"Finding Tammy Jo"

Investigates the murder of an unidentified young woman and explores broader themes related to missing and murdered Indigenous relations.


Dive into powerful books that explore the MMIR crisis and provide insights into the experiences of Indigenous kin.

"Highway of Tears" by Jessica McDiarmid

Explores the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women along British Columbia's Highway 16.

"In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience" by Helen Knott

A powerful memoir that delves into the author's experiences as an Indigenous woman and survivor.

"Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City" by Tanya Talaga

Examines the deaths of Indigenous students in Thunder Bay and the systemic issues that contributed to them.

"The Break" by Katherena Vermette

A novel that intertwines the stories of multiple Indigenous women, uncovering their struggles and resilience.

Films and TV shows

Experience impactful documentaries, films, and TV shows that offer nuanced perspectives on the MMIR crisis and the broader issues affecting Indigenous communities.

"Nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up”

Immerse yourself in the powerful film "nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up," directed by Tasha Hubbard. This film tells the story of Colten Boushie, a young Cree man who tragically lost his life and the subsequent acquittal of the shooter. The film sheds light on racism within Canada's legal system and showcases the determination of Colten's family to seek justice.


This series profiles the stories of MMIR and the efforts to bring justice to their cases. "Mohawk Girls" (a TV series) follows the lives of four young Indigenous women as they navigate modern life and cultural expectations.

"Finding Dawn"

This film investigates the disappearances and murders of Indigenous women in Canada and raises awareness about the MMIR crisis.

As we conclude our exploration of resources and insights surrounding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relations (MMIR), we are reminded of the significance of October 4. This date holds a special place in Canada as the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. On this day, communities across the nation come together to honour the lives of those affected by this crisis and to demand justice, accountability, and change.

By joining hands on October 4 and throughout the year, we contribute to a collective effort to raise awareness, engage in meaningful conversations, and take action towards a more just and equitable future. Let us commemorate this day as a reminder of our shared commitment to addressing MMIR and standing in solidarity with Indigenous communities. Together, we can pave the way for a brighter and safer tomorrow.

By engaging with these resources and taking proactive steps, we can collectively contribute to raising awareness, fostering understanding, and effecting positive change in the face of the MMIR crisis. Our commitment to justice, equity, and the well-being of Indigenous Relations is crucial for building a better future for all.


Visit to find out more about our programs, services and charitable impact.


See the many ways to give to the Y and help build a brighter future.


Find child care programs that help children and families shine.


Stay healthy, active and connected at our health and fitness centres.


Explore camps and outdoor centres for fun, adventure, leadership, skills-building and more.


Get the job you want and brighten your career with help from Employment Services.


Settle in and light up your new life in the GTA with support from Immigrant Services.


Make new friends, hone new skills and find counselling at our Youth Programs.


Give back and shine on with rewarding YMCA Volunteer Opportunities.


Find out about our green initiatives and what we're doing to build resilience to climate change.


Light up learning at  YMCA Academy, a middle and high school for those who learn differently.