OTTAWA -The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has delayed upcoming regional advisory meetings.
The decision comes a week after families and advocacy groups said the inquiry has failed to reach out to the families of the women.
The purpose of the regional meetings was to gather advice on what issues should be covered when the inquiry starts hearings.
The inquiry issued a release late Thursday saying the message it has received is that the regional advisory meetings must be “reformulated.”
The inquiry statement says it remains committed to being responsive to what families, survivors and communities are sharing and promises the inquiry will be flexible.
New dates have not been set for regional meetings that were planned for Edmonton and Thunder Bay.
The first public hearing is set for the end of May in Whitehorse.-CANADIAN PRESS-
Statement about regional advisory meetings postponed
WHITEHORSE, April 13, 2017 – The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is postponing upcoming regional advisory meetings.
Regional Advisories are an important time for us to hear about things that the National Inquiry should address and to help prepare for the process of truth finding gatherings (hearings) that will come next. The purpose of these regional advisory meetings is to enable the National Inquiry to gather advice on local issues and considerations that fall within the scope of the Inquiry.
We are thankful to all of those who have provided advice to the National Inquiry over the past few months as we have learned much from them. The advice shared in Whitehorse, in the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün and Ta’an Kwach’an, and from others across the country is that the process of seeking advice through the regional advisories must be reformulated. There needs to be enough time to organize our regional advisories and truth finding gatherings in a way that honours and reflects the people of their territories and is inclusive, accessible and focused.
While in Whitehorse, we heard from the people and were guided in ceremony. We were advised to reflect and make sure that as we move forward, we are able to adjust to meet the needs of different regions, peoples and communities.
“The National Inquiry remains committed to listening, hearing and being responsive to what families, survivors and communities are sharing with us,” Chief Commissioner Buller said. “We understand there needs to be more communication in advance about our process and the options available to those who want to participate. We need to be flexible.”
The National Inquiry has reached out to families, survivors, loved ones and community members that were going to participate in the upcoming Edmonton and Thunder Bay advisories. We apologize for the timing of this public notice. Out of respect for them, it is important to us to inform the families of lost loved ones and survivors directly.
At this time, we have not set new dates. Out of respect for the participants who were already confirmed to attend these events, we will inform them first before announcing any new details publically.
SOURCE Commission of Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls