National MMIWG inquiry

Final leg of national missing women inquiry begins in B.C.

More than 100 people set to speak over five days at Richmond hotel

More than 100 people were set to speak in Richmond beginning today, during the final leg of hearings in Canada’s national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“The courageous people who have come forward and who will come forward to share their truths are re-writing Canadian history,” said chief commissioner Marion Buller during the opening prayers at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel.

The five days of hearings will see the 1,000th testimony heard during the inquiry, which began in May 2017. The inquiry was launched in 2016 after calls for action from Indigenous families and organizations as a way towards reconciliation.

The commissioners’ mandate is to examine and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada by looking at patterns and underlying factors, and form recommendations in a final report to the federal government.

With unlimited time, as well as support from family members and friends, the speakers are scheduled to share their stories of violence, sexual exploitation and calls for healing.

Opening prayers during the first day of five in last community hearing for the national inquiry into missing and murdered women and girls. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)


Grand Chief Stewart Phillip called on witnesses to stand together, “shoulder to shoulder,” and support each other through telling their truths.

“It’s important for this country and for our people to here to know and understand the dark underside, the brutal side, of the colonial experience, the residential school system, the apprehension of our children by the province,” Phillip said, “and all the discriminatory and racist things that have happened to Indigenous peoples in this country, that have caused great harm, great hardship and heartbreak.”

WATCH: MMIWG livestream of public hearings in Vancouver

Advocate Gladys Radek called for the public to hold the government accountable for action after the hearing is complete.

“We don’t want this inquiry to be a fail, and we’re not going to allow the government to make it a failure,” said Radek, whose 22-year-old niece Tamara Lynn Chipman disappeared while hitchhiking in Prince Rupert in 2005.

Gladys Radek calls for accountability and action by government in last leg of national inquiry Wednesday. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)


Buller and three other comissioners are waiting to hear from the federal government on her request to extend the inquiry to a full two years.

Buller made the call for an extension to Indigneous Afairs Minister Carolyn Bennet in March. If granted, the time would be used to speak with experts, host roundtable discussions and hold further inquiries in more communities across the country.

If the extension is not granted, the final report is expected to be complete by the end of the year, translated into both French and Indigenous languages before being released to the public in 2019.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Elder Marge George delivers a morning prayer during the first day of five in the last community hearing of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press)

Just Posted

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Zero-interest student loans a huge relief: CMTN student union

Parliamentary secretary hears from Terrace students, alumni and staff

Tl’azt’en man emerges strong from leukemia struggle

“You have to find that inner you and fight back,” Darren says

WANTED: Five sought by RCMP

Police asking for public’s assistance finding five people on outstanding warrants.

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read