February 23, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, Ont. – Several Indigenous families who have lost loved ones met this week with the five Commissioners of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to give input on how the Inquiry can best meet the needs of survivors and communities.
This was the first of many family advisory circles that will be held in the coming weeks across the country ahead of the National Inquiry hearings, set to begin in May. The participants of this first circle were invited to the meeting after being recognized as among the leaders in pushing the Federal Government to hold an Inquiry. More families and friends will be included as the National Inquiry moves forward.
This first meeting brought families together from across the country from diverse Indigenous backgrounds to advise the Commissioners. All of the Commissioners, along with members of the Inquiry legal, health and community outreach teams were on hand for the two-day gathering to listen to the families’ needs in order to ensure the Inquiry proceeds well.
“The circle allowed the Commissioners to hear what some families believe is necessary to conduct safe and culturally relevant hearings,” Chief Commissioner Marion Buller said. “The families provided the Commissioners straightforward and respectful guidance such as what tools and supports will be needed during hearings. It was important to have guidance from families in different regions and backgrounds.”
The Commissioners welcomed the input and guidance and attentively listened to the circle participant’s advice.
“This circle resulted in relationships being built between families and the Commissioners and staff, as well as allowing families to support each other,” Commissioner Buller said. “These opportunities to speak with families directly, prior to hearings, will strengthen the National Inquiry’s processes and make for better recommendations.”
For more information, contact:
Christa Big Canoe, Commission Counsel: 514-240-0368