The Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in B.C. say they are “disgusted and disheartened” by a recently released interim report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW).
The coalition notes several concerns with the report, including that a work plan was not presented.
“Many communities, including Vancouver, are still waiting to hear when family hearings will be held in their region, and there is no plan regarding the examination of systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls.”
The coalition also notes that solutions recommended by Aboriginal communities and government institutions were not presented in the report.
“For example, sex-based discrimination in the Indian Act was named as a contributing factor towards violence against Indigenous women and girls, but there was no recommendation for the government to take steps to change that, despite the fact that there is a legislative process under way on this issue,” explains the coalition in a press release.
In addition, the coalition says that the interim report’s recommendation nine, regarding the creation of a national police task force to reopen, assess and investigate cases, was “not detailed enough” to make it either meaningful or actionable.
Furthermore, the coalition says the interim report made clear the lack of a human rights approach.
“This lacklustre interim report makes it clear that fundamental changes must be made to the national inquiry before an extension of time or money is granted,” states the coalition. “Numerous high level resignations, the lack of a coordinated or clear plan, and the re-traumatization of many affected by this inquiry, all of which is demonstrated by the release of this report, demonstrate that something must change.”
“The coalition is on record having provided concrete recommendations and has asked numerous questions which could have helped define the national inquiry,” continues the coalition. “However, the responses received from the national inquiry have been dismissive and meaningless.”
The coalition adds that the inquiry is an opportunity that cannot be squandered.
“The challenges identified by this report demonstrate the inability of the national inquiry, as it is currently set up, to fulfill its mandate; we recognize that this is an interim report, but were this a midterm exam, the national inquiry would have failed miserably.”
The national inquiry was asked for a comment, but Lakes District News did not receive a response by press time.