08 February

Kahnawake, Fabruary 7, 2017 –Quebec Native Women (QNW) has conflicted feelings following the press conference of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The announcement of a culturally appropriate and respectful approach in their practices and protocols, as well as the establishment of a trauma informed environment and team, assuages QNW.

QNW also appreciates the Commissioners’ recognition of the frustration and impatience experienced by families, survivors and organizations due to lack of action and communication on the part of the National Inquiry. QNW firmly believes that more resources should have been put in place from the onset of the creation of the National Inquiry to inform families and the population of developments. Moreover, families still have no concrete idea about the future timetable of the national inquiry; QNW recommends that the commissioners inform them as soon as possible of the date and place of the hearings so that they may have time to prepare emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. QNW also recommends that the commissioners meet with women, girls and families to inform them of the role of the national inquiry, its mandate, and the procedure to be followed in order to allow interested parties to give their full and informed testimony.

QNW is also concerned by the fact that the date of submission of the draft report is scheduled for November 1, 2017. In these circumstances, QNW is worried that not all women and families who would like to testify will have the time to do so. Although QNW is aware of the magnitude of such an investigation and what it involves, it is important to keep in mind that women, girls and their families are and must remain at the heart of this process.

At this time, according to their press conference, the National Inquiry is in the process of preparing the first hearings and allowing women, girls and families involved to get in touch with them. QNW encourages anyone who wishes to testify to contact the National Inquiry through their website: http://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca.

‘’ QNW will soon produce a request to participate in the Inquiry as soon as the rules of practice are made public. The purpose of this approach is to enable QNW to ensure that the voices of women and families are heard and that they are brought forward from the beginning until the end of the Inquiry ‘’ added Viviane Michel, president of QNW.