Québec Native Women reacts to the interim report of the NIMMIWG
Kahnawake, November 8th 2017 – Québec Native Women wishes to react to the publication of the interim report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG).
Firstly, QNW appreciates the acknowledgement of the numerous challenges and obstacles faced by the team of the inquiry since the beginning of the process. The report recognizes that mistakes have been made, and seems inclined to make adjustments accordingly. The presentation of this report allows for a better understanding of the numerous difficulties faced, including due to the slow and complex procedures of federal processes. QNW hopes that the Government of Canada will demonstrate more flexibility in order to contribute to the success of the inquiry.
However, it remains essential for the NIMMIWG to communicate a more complete plan of the inquiry process, namely regarding the future hearings which have yet to be announced. Incidentally, QNW maintains that one week only of hearings for Québec is not sufficient to fulfill the mandate of this inquiry, and to paint a full and honest portrait of the realities of each different nation on the territory. Families, friends and survivors of violence in Québec who wish to testify at the inquiry must be able to do so.
Following these assessments, QNW reiterates the importance for the inquiry to request a definitive extension as soon as possible. It is essential that this request be granted in order to overcome the obstacles that were identified, whether by the commissioners or by the families, survivors and various organizations. It is clear to see that the inquiry cannot work adequately and respectfully of all participants within the current bureaucratic constraints that have been imposed.
QNW believes that the success of this inquiry will only be possible with the recognition from the federal government that it is at the root of the various challenges faced since the beginning. Moreover, this recognition must take shape through concrete actions that will facilitate the work of the members of the inquiry, including granting a realistic and reasonable deadline extension, and providing the necessary additional funds. “We truly want this inquiry to be successful, in order to honor the families, survivors of violence and indigenous organizations that have been fighting for over ten years. However, important changes must be implemented for the families and their relatives to feel they can be heard and respected. The inquiry must act quickly and the government must demonstrate its good intentions and its commitment by offering the necessary support,” states Viviane Michel, president of Québec Native Women.
Julia Couture-Glassco, Communication Officer
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