Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 21, 2017 - 1:10 pm

MMIWG stop in Nunavut delayed by a week

Second hearing schedule change for murdered Indigenous women inquiry

STEVE DUCHARME
Throat singers Charlotte and Abby Carleton prepare to perform towards the end of the Aug. 3, 2016 launch of the MMIWG inquiry. (FILE PHOTO)
Throat singers Charlotte and Abby Carleton prepare to perform towards the end of the Aug. 3, 2016 launch of the MMIWG inquiry. (FILE PHOTO)

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s only Nunavut hearing has been delayed by a week, as part of the latest revised schedule released on July 19 that sets back hearings for two other communities.

The new date for Rankin Inlet’s hearing is Dec. 11, one week later then the original date of Dec. 4.

Hearings in Saskatoon and Thunder Bay were also delayed: in Thunder Bay’s case, by nearly three months.

The western Ontario city was supposed to be the first stop in the inquiry’s fall tour of hearings, Sept. 10, but now will host the second-last hearing on the tour, Dec. 4.

A “community visit,” which a less structured version of the community hearing, will now take the place instead in Thunder Bay, on Sept. 11.

The new schedule follows the departure of commissioner Marilyn Poitras, who announced she was resigning from the inquiry July 11, claiming the “terms of reference that we were set out to achieve have not been met.”

We contacted the inquiry to find out if the resignation impacted the hearing schedule but staff did not return our calls by publication time.

This is the second time the schedule has been changed. In May, the inquiry pushed back spring 2017 community visits until the fall.

The $53 million inquiry, which was officially launched in August 2016, has come under repeated fire by many in Canada’s Indigenous community who say communication has been poor and progress has been slow.

The inquiry’s visit to Rankin Inlet—so far the only hearing scheduled in Nunavut— was initiated in part by Laura MacKenzie, a Rankin Inlet resident who petitioned the inquiry with the support of the local hamlet and the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women.

Participation in the December hearing isn’t limited to residents of Rankin Inlet—any Nunavummiut can request to take part.

There are a number of ways Nunavummiut can contact the inquiry to register for the upcoming inquiry:

• phone, toll free at 1-844-348-4119;

• fax at 604-775-5009;

• mail at PO Box 500, Station A – Vancouver BC V6C 2N3;

• email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); and,

• in-person during a community visit ahead of the hearing date.

The commission also has an Inuktitut-language web page with more information.

You can read the complete revised schedule on the inquiry’s website here.

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