QNW reacts to the NIMMIWG extension request
Kahnawake, March 17th, 2018 – Québec Native women is pleased to see that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has finally submitted an extension request, since we have regularly stated the need for more time in order for the inquiry to fulfill its mandate. However, considering the lack of transparency and additional information on the action plan from the inquiry, QNW cannot support the extension request in these conditions.
On January 12th, 2018, we sent a letter to the NIMMIWG team containing constructive feedback, based on our observations during the hearings in Maliotenam. The letter expressed our concern regarding the quality of the proof, seeing as a large number of family members were testifying while the institutional documents (police and coroner reports, medical files, etc.) had not been received and put into evidence by the commissioners. The witnesses therefore could not be questioned on these documents. The lack of investigative and prosecuting staff enhanced the feeling of disorganization that was experienced during the hearings in Maliotenam. The hearings took, according to QNW, the shape of a truth commission, rather than an inquiry.
QNW was present during the hearings that took place in Montreal from March 12th to 16th. Based on our observations, the recommendations we made were not implemented. This is why QNW is requesting a suspension of the hearings, in order for the inquiry to undertake a real restructuring, consult with indigenous organizations and respect the governmental decree, requesting a legal inquiry commission with subpoena powers. « Families who testify want answers to their questions regarding the disappearance or death of their loved ones, and this cannot happen without a rigorous and complete inquiry process, » states Viviane Michel, President of Québec Native Women.
Our specific requests regarding the NIMMIWG will be present during a press conference on
Monday, March 19th at 1:00pm,
La Maison du Développement Durable (50, Sainte-Catherine West, Montréal).
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Source : Julia Couture-Glassco, responsable des communications
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