The Health Team is the point of first contact for families and survivors participating in the National Inquiry. Members of the Health Team have the initial conversation with each participant and arrange for participants’ health supports before participants are referred to the Legal Team. They also do the after-care follow-up with those who participate in hearings or advisory circles.
The Health Team is building relationships with regional health support agencies throughout the country, including Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Workers. This will allow local agencies to help support those participating in the National Inquiry. They also work with local Elders and Knowledge Keepers to make sure that we respect culturally specific protocols wherever we go.
The Health Team has created a training path on trauma for Commissioners, staff, Grandmothers and Elders, contract workers, and Family Advisory Circle members. It’s crucial that all members of the National Inquiry staff are trauma-informed. The Health Team is also responsible for making sure that members of the National Inquiry staff get the health supports they need. Many of our staff have been impacted by violence in one way or another, which increases their chances of being negatively affected by others’ trauma. If left unaddressed, this can jeopardize the wellness of the very people who are tasked with fulfilling the National Inquiry’s goals.
The Research Team gathers and analyzes key information on topics related to the National Inquiry’s mandate. Team members review existing materials and studies, conduct new research based on the National Inquiry’s identified knowledge gaps, and analyze evidence to support findings and recommendations. One of the Research Team’s most important responsibilities is creating the National Inquiry’s Interim and Final Reports.
The Research Team is also responsible for developing the National Inquiry’s commemoration, public education, and arts strategy. Team members are gathering and documenting works of art in all forms—written, performance, visual, and film—gifted to the National Inquiry.
The Research Team is also undertaking a youth-focused public education and art project called Their Voices Will Guide Us. This project is raising awareness around violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people, and includes course materials and resources to teach young people about Indigenous women’s power and place.
The Legal Team is responsible for providing legal advice to the Commissioners on matters relevant to the functioning and mandate of the National Inquiry. It is also responsible for making sure that all relevant evidence is brought before the Commissioners. Team members work with family members and survivors to help them tell their stories to the National Inquiry.
The Legal Team is actively putting together the information to be called at the Community, Institutional, and Expert Hearings. They are also seeking opportunities to include Indigenous legal traditions in the Truth-Gathering Process.
Community Relations staff members act as facilitators between organizations, participants, and the National Inquiry. Regional liaison officers provide community outreach across the country. They are building relationships with local and regional front-line organizations, National Indigenous Organizations, and regional coalitions through in-person meetings and regular conference calls based on confidence and trust.
They ensure there’s ongoing communication with organizations, families, and survivors, and help them navigate through the National Inquiry process.
The Communications Team communicates the mandate, priorities, and actions of the National Inquiry to the general public. It is responsible for providing strategic advice to the Commissioners, executive director, and team directors on all media and public relations issues.
Team members develop communications strategies and action plans for external and internal communications initiatives. They also foster relationships with external organizations and partners in order to be transparent about the National Inquiry’s accomplishments and to be well informed of the effectiveness of communication priorities and plans.
The Operations Team is in charge of planning, developing, and implementing the overall strategies we need to accomplish the work of the National Inquiry. It is in charge of administration, human resources, financial management, procurement (getting supplies or contracts for services in place), accommodations, security, telecommunications, and information management.
The Operations Team provides logistical support and coordination for all community visits and hearings, including coordinating funding for Indigenous people and organizations participating in the National Inquiry.