Carolyn Bennett: Inquiry into missing & murdered Aboriginal women to begin within 2 weeks

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Carolyn Bennett: Inquiry into missing & murdered Aboriginal women to begin within 2 weeks

November 10, 2015

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – The Liberal government will begin the process within the next “couple of weeks” of consulting Canadians on how best to proceed with an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, the country’s new indigenous affairs minister says.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Carolyn Bennett indicated that the start of pre-inquiry consultations will be announced before the end of the month.

“I think that we feel that we will need to make an announcement shortly,” Bennett said in an interview Monday.

“Within … a couple of weeks, we’ll have to be able to launch what we think is the best possible process for a pre-inquiry engagement.”

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Full article:

http://globalnews.ca/news/2329813/inquiry-into-missing-and-murdered-abor...

Unionist

Debater, your thread title is inaccurate. Please ask the mods to change it.

 

Debater

The title is accurate -- it is taken straight from the Global News article.

Although I guess it's the pre-Inquiry part that will begin in the next 2 weeks.

So perhaps what Global should have said is that the consultation phase about how to set up the Inquiry will begin in 2 weeks, and then the Official Inquiry phase will come after that.

But the point is that the wheels are now turning and something is getting done.

Even the Conservatives are now changing their tune because of the Liberal initiative -- Ambrose has agreed to support the vote on the Inquiry.

ilha formosa

It strikes me as quite offensive and idiotic for someone to say that an inquiry isn't needed because most of these murders are "solved."

The point of an inquiry is not to "solve" them (that's what police should do), it's to lower the numbers by inquiring into why they are happening. For that, data and other research is needed, something the previous fed gov't was unable to understand.

Sean in Ottawa

ilha formosa wrote:

It strikes me as quite offensive and idiotic for someone to say that an inquiry isn't needed because most of these murders are "solved."

The point of an inquiry is not to "solve" them (that's what police should do), it's to lower the numbers by inquiring into why they are happening. For that, data and other research is needed, something the previous fed gov't was unable to understand.

I agree. Completely misses the point that an inquiry is about cause and prevention as well as investigating injustice and prejudice in influencing the justice and police systems not solving in the sense of finding a perpetrator.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Minister criticized for excluding women’s groups from consultations on MMIW inquiry

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett is travelling to major cities until mid-February to meet with groups that include victims’ family members, loved ones and survivors, using the information they provide to “design” the inquiry. This comes on the heels of the federal government’s decision to support an inquiry post-election.

As Bennett arrived in Vancouver, frontline advocates for the Downtown Eastside expressed concern that there is too much focus on families and not enough on helping potential victims and the systems that fail them.

Members of the Women’s Memorial March Committee gathered in Vancouver on Tuesday to talk about what they believe should happen as talks about the inquiry continue.

Committee chairwoman Fay Blaney, a survivor of violence, has been pushing for an inquiry for many years as well as working to help women in the area of the city where serial killer Robert Pickton notoriously preyed on vulnerable women.

“The status of Indigenous women has to be at the top of the agenda,” Blaney said. “We experience violence not only in our own communities but we experience it from the broader population.”

Blaney said she is concerned that the government is “privileging and prioritizing blood relatives” of victims during its meetings, including its consultation in Prince George on Friday.

She added that she is worried that the timeline for the consultations is too short and that women’s groups with important information are getting pushed aside in favour of family members who are clamouring to be heard after years of being silenced....

mark_alfred

Missing, murdered Indigenous women inquiry details coming next week

Quote:

Details of a long-awaited national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls are expected to be released Wednesday, sources tell CBC News.

Some felt they weren't consulted enough, complaining that the terms of reference lack teeth.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/terms-of-reference-mmiw-i...

mark_alfred

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/pamela-palmater/2016/08/if-it-doesnt-tac...

Good article by Pamela Palmater on the process leading up to the national inquiry on murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.  She says the government promised "the pre-inquiry engagement process and the inquiry itself were to be done within a new political context -- one that focused on openness," and initially this seemed the case, as meetings were announced and feedback elicited and consultation happened.  However, she writes that things began to change, leading some to wonder when the government would "establish a table to begin jointly drafting the terms of reference" for the Inquiry. 

Quote:
Such a table was never established. Instead, we only found out that the terms of reference were in fact being unilaterally drafted by federal and provincial governments when they were leaked to the press.  Shortly thereafter, the names of the commissioners were also leaked. This is when it became very clear that the government reverted to its old secretive ways and had no real intention of working on a nation-to-nation basis with First Nations. It was clear Trudeau's commitment to openness, transparency and working in partnership with Indigenous peoples had ended.

The draft terms of reference that were leaked to the press caused many concerns, as it seemed to ignore many of the concerns that people had shared with the government in previous meetings.  One concern she cites is, "There is no specific mandate to investigate police conduct".

She concludes the article with the following:

Quote:
Prime Minister Trudeau, you made a promise to us. It's up to you to force your Ministers to fulfill that promise. Convene a table this week so that Indigenous peoples can jointly draft the terms of reference and pick the Commissioners. Nothing less will live up to your Nation-to-Nation commitment. It's never too late.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/pamela-palmater/2016/08/if-it-doesnt-tac...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..my bold

Unravelling the secrets of the National Inquiry

During Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election campaign, he promised that, if elected, the Liberal’s first order of business would be to conduct a national inquiry into the thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada. This was a welcome change from the former prime minister Stephen Harper’s position that not only would his Conservative government not hold an inquiry, but that it really wasn’t “high on his radar.” For their part, the Conservatives tried to blame First Nations men for the phenomenon and the RCMP tried to blame Indigenous women and girls for their alleged “high-risk” lifestyles. Harper’s epic political defeat resulted in a new Liberal government that could move ahead with the national inquiry. But, 17 months later, the inquiry still hasn’t started and is shrouded in so much secrecy that many families and advocates are growing increasingly skeptical.

It is exactly because police agencies across the country have routinely kept the families of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls — and the public — in the dark that this phenomenon has been allowed to continue. Despite having conducted a public engagement process to get feedback on how to construct the inquiry, the drafting of the Terms of Reference and selection process for commissioners were done in relative secrecy, ignoring much of the input they received. Were it not for media leaks, most of us would have been blindsided when they announced the Terms of Reference (TOR)....