Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Update

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Walkers are seeking justice for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women
Walkers are seeking justice for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

Indigenous women Elders The Eagle Feathers and Smudge along with tobacco at City Hall - Image taken with permission
The Eagle Feathers and Smudge along with tobacco at Thunder Bay City Hall – Image taken with permission

Statement from Marion Buller, Chief Commissioner

WHITEHORSE – I have spent the past few days contemplating what we all heard during the community hearings of the Truth Gathering Process in Whitehorse. Over three days, we’ve heard many stories of loss, we’ve heard anger, we’ve heard pain. We also heard courage and strength and hope. What has moved me most of all was the presence of the healing. I am grateful to every family member, survivor and loved one who shared their story, recommendations, suggested solutions and best practices with the Commissioners or with Statement Takers. I value each and every word.

I would also like to thank the traditional people of Ta’an Kwächän and the Kwanlin Dün, the municipality of Whitehorse, the staff at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, the Fire-keepers, Elders, local health supports, the Yukon Government and all the organizations that helped the National Inquiry take place.

For all of you, across Canada, who watched the community hearings, I thank you too. As I stated at the beginning of the community hearings in Whitehorse, this is a turning point in our national history, to give voice to all families, including families of the heart, of the missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and survivors. To heal and come together as Canadians to stop the violence against all.

Looking forward over the next couple of months there is much work to do. This week, the directors of the National Inquiry will be holding meetings with their teams to review the Whitehorse community hearing process to validate what worked and identify any gaps or areas needing improvement. Over the next few weeks, the National Inquiry staff will confirm work plans that will include the finalization of a community visit plan to get ready for community hearings in September.

As I mentioned in my statement dated June 1st, leading up to Community hearings in the fall, an interdisciplinary team will participate in community visits across Canada in order to lay the ground work for the Truth Gathering Process. We will also continue our other work to fulfill our terms of reference, including research, planning and organizing expert panels and analyzing digital and non-digital data submitted to the National Inquiry by federal, provincial, territorial, municipal governments, non-governmental organizations and institutions. We will also be organizing the Expert Panel on Indigenous Law and Decolonization.

Finally, I would like to take this moment to congratulate all of the youth who are graduating this month.

May your aspirations take flight. The National Inquiry’s mission is to make our land a safer place where the next generations can make their dreams a reality.

Marion Buller

Our Women and Girls are Sacred / Nos femmes et nos filles sont sacrées