THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum welcomes today’s announcement by Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Dr. Carolyn Bennett for a consultation process with families as the first phase of a national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls:
“We are pleased that the Government of Canada is beginning this process by engaging with families who have lost their loved ones. The national inquiry must be family-focused and the needs of families must come first. They have expressed tremendous frustration that their voices have not been heard and we are encouraged with how Minister Bennett has reached out to families and communities. This shows respect, builds trust and lays a strong foundation for what this process may ultimately achieve. The families must be comfortable with the inquiry as it unfolds and be able to participate at every step along the way. We acknowledge their grief and know that this will be a difficult and painful process. We are prepared to participle in a process where the families are well supported, the appropriate resources are in place and the right people are at the table.”
The move to start a National Inquiry was a key campaign promise by the federal Liberals and led to a widespread effort across many First Nation communities to get people engaged in voting for the Liberals.