A women's memorial march in British Columbia, Canada. Photo: Jen Castro

Mary Annette Pember: Canada's inquiry into missing and murdered sisters in trouble

A Canadian inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls has come under fire in recent weeks as Native leaders and even a former commissioner question its direction. Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember has more on the troubles facing what was to be a historic undertaking:
A national inquiry into the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) in Canada is failing to examine the systemic violence and root causes of violence against Indigenous people in Canada, according to outgoing commissioner Marilyn Poitras.

The July 11 resignation of Poitras, one of five commissioners of the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ25 people in Canada was the latest blow to the inquiry process that has been beset with problems and criticism since before it was launched about a year ago.

In her public letter of resignation, Poitras, Métis, described the inquiry process of listening to the stories of families of the missing and murdered as a “status quo colonial model of hearings.” She disagreed with the vision and terms of reference of the inquiry, which she said has failed to meet with the indigenous community and grassroots organizations. She also said the hearing process has not been conducted in a respectful, trauma-informed way for families of the missing and murdered.

“That is why it is with great regret and a heavy heart that I resign,” she wrote

Four inquiry staff members have also resigned since the panel began meeting last September. Sue Montgomery, the organization’s second director of communications, left in June.

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: Canada MMIW Inquiry Struggles as Staff Flee (Indian Country Media Network 8/2)

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