Background

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Violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada is a serious problem that should concern us all.

According to a brief presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in March 2013 by the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, Aboriginal women in Canada report rates of violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault, 3.5 times higher than non-Aboriginal women.

Young Aboriginal women are five times more likely than other Canadian women of the same age to die of violence. Between 1997 and 2000, the rate of homicide for Aboriginal women was almost seven times higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal women.

On December 8, 2015, the Government of Canada announced the launch of an independent national inquiry to address the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, including two-spirited, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and queer.

Between December 2015 and February 2016, the government held meetings across Canada with survivors, family members and loved ones, as well as National Indigenous Organizations, provincial/territorial representatives, front-line organizations and others to seek their views and input on the design and scope of the Inquiry.  This pre-inquiry design process was led by three federal ministers: the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett; the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould; and the Minister of Status of Women, Patty Hajdu.

In May 2016, a final report was published summarizing all the feedback provided during the pre-inquiry design process.

On August 3, 2016, the government announced the five commissioners who will lead the Inquiry as well as the Terms of Reference  (PDF Format) for the National Inquiry.

The Commissioners officially began the National Inquiry on September 1, 2016. They are expected to submit an interim report in the fall of 2017 and a final report by the end of 2018.

The independence of the National Inquiry includes independence in fact and in appearance, which is very important in conducting the Inquiry, including reporting and making recommendations.

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is a public inquiry established under Part I of the federal Inquiries Act. The Inquiries Act gives the commissioners powers to conduct the National Inquiry independently and the authority to determine how best to accomplish its mandate and make recommendations.

For the commissioners, the emotional well-being of the families who have lost a loved one is at the very heart of this National Inquiry. We know that the families who will be appearing before the National Inquiry and providing statements will be re-living some of the most difficult moments of their lives. We are ensuring that the National Inquiry is done in a way that is trauma-informed and culturally appropriate.


Orders In Council

The provincial and territorial governments have declared their support for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Please find below the links to their Order-in-Council and Décret administratif (Quebec).  The National Inquiry is in the process of providing these in both official languages (if not yet available).

PROVINCES

Alberta

English

British Columbia

English

Manitoba

English

French

New Brunswick

English

French

Newfoundland and Labrador

English

Nova Scotia

English

Ontario

English

French

Prince Edward Island

English

Quebec

English

French

Saskatchewan

English - Appointment and Terms of ReferenceRules

TERRITORIES

Yukon

English

French

Northwest Territories

English

French

Nunavut

English

French