12/05/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 02/03/2015 05:59 EST

Winnipeg Police To Make Missing, Murdered Women Cases A Priority

A First Nations women in ceremony of the thousands of missing and murdered women through BC and Canada. The steps of the Carnegie Community Center. Downtown Eastside, Vancouver BC

Better protecting indigenous women and girls will become a "strategic priority" for the Winnipeg Police Service, which is being ordered to beef up investigations of cases involving missing and murdered women.

Police Chief Devon Clunis will get new marching orders on Friday morning from the Winnipeg Police Board, which is calling on the force to strengthen efforts to solve cases of missing and murdered women and girls.

The board also wants police to "better communicate these activities in a manner that does not provide confidential information on, or that could impair, specific ongoing investigations," according to the board's report, which was posted on the city's website late Thursday.

As well, the police board wants the force to improve cultural awareness training for officers and provide better support to victims of violence and exploitation.

The report from the seven-member board comes after Clunis said the city should take a lead role in addressing the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.

The board is recommending that money be freed up from the police budget "in order to support adequate, effective and timely achievement of this strategic priority."

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