MMIW inquiry failing families, says Native Women's Association

May 17, 2017
Article Source
CBC Radio - The Current

From CBC Radio's The Current: Since the national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women officially launched last September, criticisms have been mounting.

Many family members of missing and  and murdered Indigenous women have lost faith in the inquiry.

Bridget Tolley says there's no communication, and families are asking for help.

"I want to be involved, you know, my mother needs to be involved too; don't leave us out," she says.

Bridget's mother, Gladys Tolley, was killed in 2001. Bridget has been fighting for more than a decade to have the case reopened and subject to an independent investigation.

A new open letter to the inquiry's chief commissioner, signed by more than 30 advocates, Indigenous leaders, and family members, says the process is in serious trouble.

And this week, the Native Women's Association of Canada issued a report card on the inquiry — giving it failing grades.

The association's interim president Francyne Joe agrees there is lack of communication in the inquiry process and points out a lack of strategic planning when measuring goals.

"We need to ensure some sort of accountability in order for this ever to succeed," Joe tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

"Families want to be involved. In order for them to be involved, we need to have a clear communication plan from the inquiry … and come up with some clear, concrete plans so that we can protect our women."

Joe says that what is needed is an assurance of a "family-first process."

"We need to ensure that families are most respected, most honoured. They have stories they want to share." 

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