In September 2016, the Government of Canada launched an independent National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Commissioners of the Inquiry will submit their final report on June 3, 2019.
The establishment of the National Inquiry followed calls on the federal government from family members who suffered the loss of a loved one, Indigenous leaders, provincial and territorial premiers, and the UN special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous people, to launch a comprehensive and nation-wide inquiry into this issue. In 2015, Indigenous women made up nearly one-quarter (24%) of homicide victims in Canada.
In its Interim Report, issued in 2017, the National Inquiry reported: “With all the information we have, we still don’t know how many Indigenous women and girls are missing or have been murdered. We don’t know what happened to many of them, or how to make sure we don’t lose any more Indigenous women and girls to violence. We need to understand how social structures and laws have so devalued the lives of Indigenous women and girls.”
“As we prepare to receive the report of the National Inquiry, we wish to join many others in honouring the work of the Commissioners, as well as the survivors and their families who shared testimony,” said Geoffrey Cameron, Director of Public Affairs for the Baha’i Community of Canada.
“The Baha’i teachings urge us to regard all as members of our family, and to treat them as we would our own mother, sister, or child. The Indigenous victims of violence are our very dear relatives, whether they are known to us or not,” said Deloria Bighorn, chairperson of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada. “Our community is committed to working to build a society that respects this truth, and which has systems of justice capable of protecting it.”
The Final Report will be available at the website of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: http://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca
Photo credit: Installation by Jessica Slater and survivors and families of MMIWG during the Vancouver Community Hearing.