MMIW Inquiry Terms of Reference Evokes Mixed Reaction
Prince George, B.C. – Mixed reaction from the executive director of Carrier Sekani Family Services today in response to the newly released Terms of Reference into Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.
This morning the federal government announced five commissioners will lead the Inquiry with the full co-operation of all the provinces and territories (see full story here).
“I think there’s a lot of positives coming out of the Terms of Reference,” says Mary Teegee. “Definitely they’re going to be focused on the systemic issues. There’s going to be an inclusivity of families and voices but done in a respectful manner.”
However, she also says there are some things missing from the announcement she calls “disconcerting.”
“The lack of real, real formal involvement by policing and looking at the judicial system” and her concern that “you can’t compel the provincial government to be involved.”
“Can the federal government compel them to have their systems be open and honest and provide information that would lend itself to the broader national inquiry?”
And considering it took 10 years to act on an recommendation to bring in a transportation link along Highway 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert she’s still fairly apprehensive moving forward.
“Well I’m going to tell you I’m not 100 percent confident,” says Teegee. “I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re willing to do to what we need to do to make sure the national inquiry is done but given the lessons learned from the Oppal Inquiry, the Highway of Tears recommendations and the lack of commitment and resources I’m really hesitant to say I’m 100 percent happy.”
The issue is a personal one for Teegee, who’s cousin Ramona Wilson was just 16 years old when she went missing in 1994 and was eventually found murdered a year later.