On December 8, 2015, the Government of Canada announced a national inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across the country. Although Indigenous women make up 4 per cent of the female population in Canada, 16 per cent of all women murdered in Canada between 1980 and 2012 were Indigenous. For many years, Indigenous families, communities and organizations, as well as non-governmental and international organizations have urged the Government of Canada to take action and lead a national inquiry.
The inquiry will unfold in two-stages, beginning immediately with engagement of survivors, family members and loved ones of victims, as well as National Aboriginal, provincial, and territorial representatives to seek input on the design and scope of the inquiry. An online survey is available for stakeholders to submit responses to questions that will guide the inquiry design process. As well, in-person gatherings will be held across the country. The BC Provincial Family Gathering will take place in Prince George January 31 to February 2, 2016.
After the engagement stage, the Government will report back on what has been learned from participants, which will inform the development of the inquiry, including the mandate, terms of reference, format, and time line.
Photo credit: “REDress Project" by Jaime Black at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights; a response to missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Photo by Destinations Detours and Dreams.