The final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released a year ago Wednesday.

An action plan by the federal government was supposed to follow but has yet to be released. The government announced last week that the plan has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen Sanderson, the executive director of the La Ronge Native Women’s Council, said there shouldn’t be a delay.

“This is something that’s been in the works for a few years, here finally stepping up and everything like that, but now it’s put on hold but It’s only been three months of COVID-19,” she said. “This should have been done right after the national report was let out and the momentum should have been going where there wouldn’t have been any delays.”

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations mirrored Sanderson’s statements in a press release on Thursday, calling on the Canadian government to finish the action plan immediately.

“The issues that the Inquiry report brought to light did not stop when the world pandemic hit,” FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear said in the release.

Sanderson said the report outlined the genocide Indigenous women and girls have been subjected to for decades.

“I felt it was finally something that addressed what’s been going on for generations in Canada, so it’s kind of a relief that it was actually done because there was some delay in that one too.”

In a follow-up email, Sanderson noted how “ironic” it was that “the national action plan is being delayed at a time when race relations is the topic of the world. This should be the time to take action.”

The federal government has not announced when the action plan will be released.

(PHOTO: MMIWG artistic piece by Donna Langhorne. Photo by Brandon White.)