Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut December 05, 2017 - 8:00 am

National MMIWG inquiry asks Ottawa for an extension

Commission is now 15 months into two-year mandate

Inquiry commissioner Michèle Audette stands during a smudging ceremony at a commission press conference earlier this year. (CPAC IMAGE)
Inquiry commissioner Michèle Audette stands during a smudging ceremony at a commission press conference earlier this year. (CPAC IMAGE)

Commissioners with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls say they will ask the federal government for an extension to their two-year mandate.

The commission noted this plan in a statement on Friday, Dec. 1, the same day the inquiry wrapped up a week of hearings in Mani-Utenam, an Innu community in northeastern Quebec.

Commissioners haven’t said how much more time they need to complete their mandate, which is currently set to end next fall.

The inquiry is about 15 months into its initial two-year mandate, and it’s been just three months since commissioners began hosting community hearings across the country.

Already, the commission has made changes to its schedule. The inquiry was set to hold its first Nunavut hearing in Rankin Inlet starting Dec. 11, but commissioners announced Nov. 24 that they would have to postpone the hearing because the local venue booked to host the event wasn’t private enough.

Earlier last month, the inquiry lost one of its legal counsel with the inquiry’s Inuit working group, Iqaluit lawyer Joseph Murdoch Flowers, who resigned Nov. 21.

Inquiry staff have yet to indicate when they plan to return to Rankin Inlet, though the CBC has reported that the hearings are now booked for mid-January 2018.

Responding to requests and questions about a Montreal-based hearing, commissioners said the city has been identified as a hearing location.

But commissioners have yet to announce the next set of hearing dates and locations.

“The wisest way to move forward is to extend the process to truly honour and respect the families that have suffered in silence for too long,” commissioners said in a Dec. 1 statement.

“We are calling upon the Canadian government to grant an extension. We will continue to work towards fulfilling our mandate in a meaningful and culturally appropriate way.”

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(7) Comments:

#1. Posted by sled dog on December 05, 2017

The Commission is FUBAR

Another shining moment brought to you from a Prime Minister who just was not ready. (and will never be)

Sunny Ways at its very best.

#2. Posted by Predictable Pete on December 05, 2017

Sled Dog, do you work for the Conservative party or… what? Every time there is a story about this commission you make, what is basically, the exact same remarks.

#3. Posted by sad on December 05, 2017

The MMIW Inquiry should be re-booted. Start with booting out the commissioners and their executive director. They have boondoggled this very important process by focusing only on themselves. Too high and mighty these commissioners are. Lots of good, dedicated and thoughtful people committed to families and doing right by the victims all thrown under the bus for these grandstanding royalty wannabes. Get rid of the commissioners and select people who are closer to the ground and not with their heads in the clouds. Replace them.

#4. Posted by Rooting for the Commission on December 05, 2017

I am very patient and sympathetic with the frustrations and delays. The commission is dealing with some of the most difficult issues anyone has ever dealt with along with grieving people/families and extensive travel. A moving timeline and change in staff is completely understandable.

#5. Posted by CB on December 05, 2017

Well said #4 I agree. I am grateful to the commissioners as theirs is a burden beyond belief to listen to all the tragic stories of irreparable loss and terrible violence and to remain compassionate, just, sane. God bless them and may they succeed.

#6. Posted by Dec. Tallimat on December 05, 2017

The Truth and Reconsiliation did an commendable job.  Why did they not just reboot that same commission under a new name and mandate. 

It is very different thing for sure.  Many cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are still unsolved but this is also the same important reason for the mission. 

This commission could just report and then ask for another mandate be issued for part two.  Part 2 would have different members.

#7. Posted by Wonder on December 06, 2017

So much talk about this inquiry.
Are they going to find out where the missing people are?
Are they going to find out who murdered people?
Are they going to find out about native children who were hurt and
sexually abused by their own relatives before they ever went to
residential school?
I wonder if truth will prevail, or will it be another Nunavut hush up.

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