MMIWG Inquiry Releases Interim Report

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) released their Interim Report on November 1.  Recommendations include calls for the federal government to create a national police task force to reopen cases or review investigations, and to fully comply with a 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that found that Canada was racially discriminating against First Nations children.

The Inquiry has been the subject of intense scrutiny since its inception, and continues to face considerable criticism by First Nations advocates and others concerned with slow progress and inquiry methods. Commissioners have stated that they are working hard to resolve their operational issues, and continue to push forward.

The Inquiry has now heard approximately 270 testimonies over several hearings taking place in Yukon, BC, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and is now sitting for three days in Edmonton. Going forward, it will also be establishing an Institutional Hearings process that will focus on conduct and practices in police services and child welfare agencies, among other institutions. It also plans to establish expert panels to examine overarching themes and educate the Canadian public on subjects such as Indigenous law and decolonization.

The current deadline for completion of the Inquiry is December 31, 2018. In conjunction with the release of the Interim Report, Commissioners noted the need for more time to complete the work, but did not make a recommendation on a specific new end date.

UBCM members endorsed resolution B111 in 2015, calling for the federal government to convene a national inquiry into the widespread and severe violence faced by Indigenous women and girls in Canada.  UBCM subsequently prepared a submission to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada on Inquiry design.

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