Group creating database to track Quebec’s MMIWG cases

Interactive map to include data and personal stories

From left, Quebec Native Women president Marjolaine Étienne, Iskweu project co-ordinator Janis Qavavauq-Bibeau and University of Outaouais teacher Audrey Rousseau announce their database in Cabot Square. (Photo by Cedric Gallant)

By Cedric Gallant - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An interactive map that tracks cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Quebec is coming soon to the province.

Quebec Native Women, University of Outaouais and Iskweu project officially announced their partnership Friday during a Red Dress Day event in Montreal’s Cabot Square.

The database will include statistical information and personal experiences. All of it will be explorable on an interactive map created by the university.

According to QNW president Marjolaine Étienne, the map is especially important to situate where violence happens in the province.

She said it “will give our organizations the power to accentuate the services that we need to offer women and families.”

To collect data, all three organizations intend to travel to First Nation communities across Quebec. Nunavik is not part of their travelling plans, since they only operate with First Nation communities. But the Iskweu project is collecting data in Nunavik.

“I am proud to be part of this partnership,” said Janis Qavavauq-Bibeau, research co-ordinator for the Iskweu project.

“For so long, so many families have felt forgotten, feeling like people did not care, for a long time people did not care about Indigenous women being assassinated.

“I want to hear those families, I want to hear your stories, because your stories are valid.”

Having only numbers in the database — without the personal stories — would be insensitive to the people who are affected, she said.

In her work for the Iskweu project, Qavavauq-Bibeau found more than 200 cases of missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls, transgender and two-spirited people in the province of Quebec.

At the time of her research, the RCMP had only registered 46 murdered victims.

Qavavauq-Bibeau said a majority of Nunavik’s cases from 2019-20 involve Inuit women.

“I hope to bring a healing point to some degree,” she said. “I want to validate their stories, their trauma.”

What’s really important, she said, is that information is accessible for everyone. From experience, she knows how difficult it is to find any kind of information from authorities.

“Families who want answers, why are there so many ambushes in the system,” she said.

“Do you think Indigenous families can go through all the steps to access information? No, they will probably abandon their search and never have justice.”

The initiative has received funding for three years, including from the federal government. After that time, the interactive map and the complete database will be available for anyone to consult.


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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Kurious on

    Why are you including transgender?

  2. Posted by I know the facts on

    The persons who decided to set the MNQ on Cabot should be in jail


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