MMIWG National Inquiry Requests Two Year Extension

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MMIWG Inquiry
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Chief Commissioner Marion Buller listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
MMIWG Inquiry
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Chief Commissioner Marion Buller listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA – The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls today submitted a formal request to the federal government for a 24-month extension of its mandate through to December 31, 2020. The submission made to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs highlights work that the National Inquiry has done, and areas of investigation, research, and commemoration that require more time to complete.

“The Commissioners and I firmly believe that an additional two years is required to do justice to our critically important mandate for the safety and security of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ people,” said Chief Commissioner Marion Buller. “The response from families, survivors, and Indigenous communities have been overwhelming, and we have a sacred responsibility to them to continue moving forward.”

Since the truth-gathering process was launched the National Inquiry has heard from 763 witnesses during 134 public hearings and 103 in-camera at 11 Community Hearings and one Expert Hearing held across the country. The National Inquiry’s Statement Gathering team has collected an additional 276 statements and received 45 Artistic expressions. About 630 more individuals have registered with the National Inquiry to share their truths and continue to express interest in participating.

The National Inquiry continues to reach out to and engage with women and girls to increase our understanding of the issues faced by women and girls of the Métis Nation, Inuit women and girls and Indigenous women and girls living in Québec whose perspectives are critical in guiding our important work and formulating meaningful recommendations relevant to them and all of Canada.

Should the National Inquiry receive additional time, families and survivors who wish to share their truth can do so and their recommendations for change will help the Commissioners formulate recommendations for their Final Report. It will also give the National Inquiry time to more thoroughly engage with 2SLGBTQ people and to reach vulnerable Indigenous women and girls including those who are incarcerated, homeless and trafficked.

Furthermore, an extension will allow the National Inquiry to hold additional National Institutional and Expert Hearings, and Regional Institutional and Expert Hearings. These additional hearings would allow for in-depth examination of issues that include human trafficking and sexual exploitation, institutionalization of Indigenous women and girls, and healthcare and addiction services. Further, they would allow for distinctions based and regional examination of these issues to ensure practical and applicable recommendations are developed. With an extension, the National Inquiry also plans to commission original research to fill gaps on pressing topics, including on the criminal justice system and systems of colonial violence.

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