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National MMIWG inquiry sets spring deadline for testimony or statements

Commission said April 20 is last day to register

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

A bag of tears sits on a chair at the national inquiry's March hearings in Montreal March 14. The bag is set up at hearings for people to discard used tissue; the bags are burned at the end of each hearing day to cleanse the room of pain and trauma. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)


A bag of tears sits on a chair at the national inquiry’s March hearings in Montreal March 14. The bag is set up at hearings for people to discard used tissue; the bags are burned at the end of each hearing day to cleanse the room of pain and trauma. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has set a spring deadline for families to register to testify or provide statements.

The commission said it would close “part one” of its truth gathering process on April 20, the last day families can register with the inquiry to share their stories.

“Every truth shared will guide the next important stages of the investigation and help to inform our recommendations for change,” the inquiry’s chief commissioner, Marion Buller, said in a news release on Monday, March 26.

It’s unclear what a part two might look like; as it stands, the inquiry is set to wrap up in the fall, unless it is granted the two-year extension commissioners have asked of the federal government.

An additional two years would give the inquiry time to visit more regions of the country, commissioners said.

But currently, the inquiry’s last scheduled community hearing is in Vancouver on April 4-8.

Since the commission launched in the fall of 2016, 880 family members and survivors have shared their personal stories through community hearings and statement gatherings across the country.

At least a few dozen of those statements and testimony have come from Inuit families; some were made in person at the inquiry’s recent community hearings in Yellowknife, Rankin Inlet, Montreal and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

The commission’s mandate is to look into the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ people in Canada by identifying patterns and underlying factors.

Families who would like to register to share their own stories can call or email the inquiry at 1-844-348-4119 or at profile@mmiwg-ffada.ca. Participants can request to give their statements in Inuktitut.

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