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October 27, 2017 9:46 pm

MMIW Inquiry Terms of Reference Evokes Mixed Reaction

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 @ 2:18 PM

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.



So, 5 Commissioners, almost $54 Million and of course Teegee doesn’t seem quite as satisfied as one might expect or one might hope!

I suspect that in 3 or 4 years, when all of this is done, and $54 Million or more has been spent, there will once again be calls for yet another inquiry! It seems that these inquiries have become an industry unto themselves!

By the way, there is absolutely nothing racist in this comment!

Hmm, thumbs down! Not surprising, however before giving me a thumbs down, perhaps all of the following is worth considering!

– Canada now has a “feminist” Prime Minister.

– Canada now has it’s first aboriginal Federal Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, representing Vancouver Granville, B.C., a riding very near the downtown eastside where so many aboriginal women went missing.

– The Federal Government has committed almost $54 Million to this inquiry.

– The inquiry will have 5 commissioners.

– Leading the inquiry will be Canada’s First Female Aboriginal Judge.

– The inquiry is expected to last 2 years.

All of this and more should suggest that this new inquiry stands the BEST possible chance of reaching a positive conclusion!

Our Aboriginal leaders should commend this announcement and embrace the opportunity to support the inquiry and strive to achieve the very best possible outcome.

Unfortunately, it would appear that some within the ranks of the Aboriginal leadership are already harbouring negative thoughts!

Negative thoughts will usually taint any objective!

If you think that you can, then you might! If you think that you can’t then you won’t!

I hope, in fact I urge Teegee and others in positions of authority within the Aboriginal community to shake off any negative thoughts about this inquiry. If not, then it is highly likely that their self-fulfilling prophesies will doom this inquiry even before it starts!

Self-fulfilling Prophecy: “Having an expectation that causes you to act and change your behaviour in ways that make that expectation become a reality”

Assuming the government pays interest at 3%, they could set aside $4,500.00 a day forever to pay for – a bus to transport aboriginal women, or, to pay for approximately 16 additional RCMP members to patrol the highway of tears, or to hire possibly up to 20 drug and alcohol Councillors for the reserves, or some combination thereof.

And, we wouldn’t saddle future generations with a 54 million dollar debt.

But, we’ll spend it for political optics. Anyone at all honest knows the cause and solution.

The cause is there are predators out there, who prey upon the weak.

Life on the reserve isn’t always pleasant, and women find being anywhere but there an improvement.

Getting from the reserve to almost anywhere, requires hitchhiking, and on the roads they become prey.

Anywhere they can get to, they just become prey as there are insufficient programs to enable them to acquire adequate safe housing or any kind of future.

So, start with the reserves, make them a safe place for women.

If you can’t do that, then provide transportation and somewhere to go.

They are going to spend – not counting interest – 2.7 million per victim to talk about how it happened. How about we quit looking for someone to blame, and spend the money on preventing the next 20 victims.

    This is not just a “highway of tears” thing. Just as many are murdered or go missing elsewhere in Canada. NWAC has a database of 582 cases of that about 20% are missing, 67% are murder cases, 4% are suspicious, 9% are unknown. 60% of the missing women and girls in Saskatchewan are aboriginal. About 10% of all the 582 cases are on reserve

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