Commissioner Defends Inquiry

Posted on Friday, August 11, 2017 08:46 AM

A Commissioner with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is resisting calls for a "hard reset" and for the current commissioners to resign.

Some families have stated they feel left out and even harmed "by the Inquiry's misguided processes."

Michele Audette says she is a mother of five and a new grandmother, so she understands the concerns and severity of the issue.

Audette notes everyone involved is acting on the best interests of all impacted families as well as all Canadians.

She says their main goal is to hear from everyone and bring back solutions instead of problems.

Audette says they want to find out the systemic cause of all forms of violence against Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada and to see if there are patterns.

She stresses no stone will be left unturned as they have the mandate to examine the policies and practices that reduce violence or increases safety at any municipal, provincial or federal institution.

Audette adds they have the power to subpoena any witness or police force.

She says it's their priority to make sure the families speaking out are protected and feel comfortable and they will accommodate them in any way.

Audette says witnesses can speak around a healing circle or behind closed doors, stressing they are sensitive to the fact that they can't "open old wounds and then just say good-bye".

She spoke to regional First Nations leaders at the Keewatin Conference in Lac Seul on Tuesday.


(Photo courtesy Nishnawbe Aski Nation/Twitter)