Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, it is incredibly important to remind one another, and indeed all Canadians, why we launched the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. It is because for far too many families, a mother, sister, daughter, niece, or friend has gone missing, and they need answers.
The terms of reference for the inquiry make it extremely clear that families should, and must, be at the centre. They are the families that fought so hard to get this national inquiry in the first place. It was their voices, their strength, their courage, and their well-being. The point of this national inquiry is not only to produce a report. It is also about helping families heal and have their voices heard, and through them, the voices of all the women and girls we have lost.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report lays out three main stages on the path to reconciliation. First is truth telling, second is healing, and third is reconciliation. If we are to advance reconciliation in Canada, we must never forget to help one another heal.
What we have heard to date is raw and intensely personal. It has left no doubt in our minds about the urgent need to examine the underlying and deep systemic challenges of violence, including racism and sexism, and the sustained impact of colonialism.
We also know that we cannot wait for a national inquiry to make recommendations before we act, which is why our government has already taken immediate action on root causes, with investments in women's shelters, housing, education, and child welfare reform. This includes expanding the network of shelters to include five new centres for families fleeing violence on reserve, and $2.6 billion over five years for kindergarten to grade 12 education on reserve. It includes $554.3 million over two years from budget 2016 to address urgent housing needs on reserve plus an additional $4 billion over 10 years from budget 2017 to build and improve housing and other community infrastructure.
This national inquiry was purposely developed to be independent so it would be free from political interference and so the voices of families would be heard. That is what is happening now, and it is up to the commission to take the feedback it is receiving and incorporate it.
As the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs has said, we look forward to hearing from the commission, and we are ready to continue supporting it. Again, I want to reiterate that our government is committed to ending the ongoing national tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.