Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut November 21, 2017 - 1:10 pm

Nunavut lawyer resigns from MMIWG inquiry

Joseph Murdoch-Flowers was one of six staffers with the commission's Inuit working group

SARAH ROGERS
Iqaluit-based lawyer Joseph Murdoch-Flowers announced his resignation from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on Nov. 21, but declined to comment any further on his decision to leave. (FILE PHOTO)
Iqaluit-based lawyer Joseph Murdoch-Flowers announced his resignation from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on Nov. 21, but declined to comment any further on his decision to leave. (FILE PHOTO)

An Iqaluit-based lawyer has resigned from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls.

Joseph Murdoch-Flowers, raised in Nunatsiavut and Nunavik, joined the inquiry’s legal team last spring. He was one of six staff who made up its Inuit working group.

Murdoch-Flowers announced his resignation Nov. 21 and sent a brief email to reporters, but declined to comment any further.

His decision comes as the national inquiry continues to face internal turmoil and criticism.

The commission has lost more than a dozen employees this year, including one of its commissioners, Marilyn Poitras.

Emails leaked to CBC this week suggest that the inquiry’s new executive director, Debbie Reid, has taken a heavy-handed approach to staff, insisting their priority is to protect commissioners from “criticism and surprises.”

In other news reports, staff at the inquiry have described the working environment as high-pressure and dysfunctional.

Murdoch-Flowers’ departure comes just weeks before the inquiry is set to host its first hearing in Nunavut—and in an Inuit community—when commissioners touch down in Rankin Inlet Dec. 11.

The other members of the inquiry’s Inuit working group are Edmonton-based lawyer Lillian Aglukark Lundrigan, health manager Barbara Sevigny, community liaison officer Looee Okalik, researcher Lisa Koperqualuk and Gladys Wright, an executive assistant to commissioner Qajaq Robinson.

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