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August 4, 2016

CLC - Government launches inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls

Canadian Labour Congress

CLC president Hassan Yussuff was honoured to participate in the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s (NWAC) news conference today marking the historic and monumental launch of the official inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

Following a series of consultations that began in late 2015, the government announced the inquiry’s terms of reference and the names of the five commissioners.

“We welcome the fact that the government has finally called this inquiry and has committed to ensuring it examines the root causes of violence against indigenous women, such as racism, sexism and misogyny. But we need to make sure the government gets it right,” said Yussuff.

NWAC, alongside victims’ families and leaders from indigenous groups, raised several concerns with the announced terms of reference:

  • The lack of a process for families to reopen cases they feel need to be re-examined;
  • The need for trauma informed and culturally based counselling that extends throughout and beyond the inquiry process;
  • The need to examine the role played by police and the justice system;
  • The need to explicitly outline the role of provinces and territories ; and
  • The need for a 6th commissioner representing Inuk communities.

Over the last decade Canadian unions have actively supported the call from indigenous communities for this inquiry.

“We heard the concerns raised about the terms of reference by indigenous leaders and families, and we hope the government listens and does as they ask,” added Yussuff.