OTTAWA – The public will now have a say in how the Liberal government will design the inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls issue (MMIW).
The Government of Canada launched an online survey yesterday as an opportunity for anyone to provide input on the development of the inquiry it has been asked to do by Indigenous communities, families and other organizations.
“The Government of Canada believes that an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls can only be designed after hearing from those directly affected,” said Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. “We are committed to an inclusive and respectable engagement process which incorporates the viewpoints and perspectives of those impacted by this national tragedy.”
A discussion guide has been developed and is now available online. The guide is also being used at engagement sessions by highlighting important elements and key questions for consideration and providing additional information.
The Government of Canada’s website says that Indigenous women and girls in Canada experience higher rates of violence than non-Indigenous women and girls in Canada do, and Honourable Patty Hadju, minister of status of women, says that that needs to be looked into further.
“We must design an inquiry that both exposes the root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls and leads to concrete actions to prevent future violence,” said Hadju. “Engaging meaningfully with people from across the country is an important first step in that process.”
Honourable Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous and northern affairs is hoping for a great deal of public participation in the survey.
“We want to hear from all Canadians — especially survivors, families and loved ones, Indigenous organizations and provinces and territories — to help us identify the best process for this inquiry,” said Bennett.
The discussion guide and survey can be found at www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca.