The pre-inquiry design process for the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women is winding down.
More than 2000 survivors and family members attended 18 meetings across Canada, including one in Prince George.
Minister of Indigenous Affairs Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Minister of Status of Women Patty Hajdu issued a joint statement Monday.
“We have heard a wide range of voices and views on who should conduct the inquiry, the length of the inquiry, who should participate and the scope of the work and how best to reflect Indigenous culture and ceremony. As well we heard about other needs beyond the Inquiry, including healing. The views and ideas expressed by all participants are helping us design an inquiry that both examines the causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls and leads to recommendations for concrete actions to prevent future violence.”
As the federal government begins to build the framework of the inquiry, Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Terry Teegee says he is feeling cautiously optimistic.
“The important thing is that this inquiry really acknowledges and takes the recommendations from the families into how the terms of reference will be developed. I think that’s the most important part of this whole inquiry and moving forward.”
He added that he hopes this isn’t the end of consultations with First Nations.
“I think to move this agenda forward more families need to be either followed up on, or provide more comment to how this inquiry can move forward.”
Ottawa says details on the inquiry will be announced “in the coming months.”
An online survey on the subject will be available until February 22nd. Submissions will be accepted by phone, mail or email until February 28th.