Families want more resignations from missing, murdered women inquiry

July 13, 2017
Article Source
The Globe and Mail

Cries from frustrated families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls grew louder Wednesday as advocates in different parts of the country called for a reboot of the study following the resignation of a Metis commissioner.

Bridget Tolley, who has spent 16 years searching for answers in the death of her mother Gladys, said she was about to meet with members of the inquiry at a Toronto hotel when she learned Marilyn Poitras — one of five commissioners named last summer by the Liberal government — resigned from her position.

The focus of the meeting was an open letter released by a coalition of advocates in May who argued the commission needed to shift its approach and suggested it was in "serious trouble."

Yet, there was no mention of Poitras' departure, Tolley said in an interview Wednesday.

"We waited for them to bring it up but they didn't," she said. "We all knew about it too."

Tolley and a number of others want a major overhaul of the two-year $53.8 million study designed to examine the root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

Beverley Jacobs, a former president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, said she was supportive of the inquiry in the beginning but doesn't have it in her to back something that may cause harm to families.

"Why can't the rest of the commissioners accept that this isn't working and that they really need to take a look at themselves and understand that there's no trust and if there is, there's very, very little from very few families?," she said.

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