Federal funding provided to Regina-based organization to help support families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Violence against Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) people in Canada is an ongoing national tragedy that needs to end. Supporting the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people on their healing journey is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Ensuring that community-based organizations have the tools and resources they need to deliver services for families of MMIWG helps fill gaps in services where needs are high and builds on the work of Indigenous organizations and specialized victim service programs.

Since 2016, Justice Canada has committed $37.68 million in funding to support the operation of Family Information Liaison Units and to support culturally responsive, trauma-informed community-based services for families of MMIWG. Through this funding, 30 Indigenous-led projects have received support to provide community-based services. 

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced that the Government of Canada is providing financial support to Regina-based Caring Hearts Counselling for the development of a model for culturally appropriate education to support the families of MMIWG in their healing journey. Caring Hearts Counselling was approved for $332,270 in funding over three years starting on September 24, 2020, through the Department of Justice Canada’s Victims Fund.

This project draws on cultural teachings shared through Indigenous partnerships and clinical knowledge of loss to develop and deliver programs, services, and assistance to the families of MMIWG through education, counselling and community support. The project also focuses on increasing strong Indigenous partnerships to provide cultural perspectives and foster a more culturally sensitive approach to better reflect the needs of families of MMIWG.

Caring Hearts Counselling advocates for healing and bereavement care in Saskatchewan through education, advocacy, counseling, and support. The organization also provides direct support and services to individuals and families, and delivers trauma-informed care, education and training to professionals and volunteers who work with individuals and families who have suffered a related significant loss in their lives.


“We must continue to work to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit and LGBTQQIA+ people in Canada. This means supporting the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls on their path to healing from tragedy. The funding being provided to Caring Hearts Counselling will help to deliver much needed culturally responsive, trauma-informed community-based services and supports for these individuals and their families.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Caring Hearts would like to thank Justice Canada and Minister Lametti for providing us the opportunity to develop a culturally sensitive education model for individuals and agencies who work with Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Saskatchewan. The funding has provided Caring Hearts the ability to reach out to Elders from many different regions, who have willingly shared their knowledge, stories and traditional teachings with us to be used to build a ‘tool kit’ to grow the much needed supports for Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.”

Dwayne Yasinowski, Director of Education, Caring Hearts Inc. 

Quick facts

  • The Victims Fund provides grants and contributions to support projects and activities that encourage the development of new approaches, promote access to justice, improve the capacity of service providers, foster the establishment of referral networks, and/or increase awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families.

  • The Victims Fund aims to improve access to justice and services for all victims of crime, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable victims of crime, including child and youth victims.

  • Indigenous peoples face substantial systemic barriers in accessing justice, as victims, offenders, and families. Transformational change is needed within the justice system and at the community level to improve Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit and LGBTQQIA+ peoples’ access to justice.

  • Through the release of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada announced important investments to support Indigenous families in navigating the family justice system, as well as those looking for community-based family mediation services. These investments include $27.1 million over three years, through the Indigenous Courtwork Program and Indigenous Justice Program, to help Indigenous families navigate the family justice system and access community-based family mediation services.

Click here to read the Government of Canada new release.

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