The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has announced nine towns across the country where they will hold public hearings later this fall. As it stands now, Lakelanders will have to make a day trip to Edmonton on November 6th if they want their voices heard.
The inquiry had previously held a hearing in Whitehorse from May 30th to June 2nd, but delayed any further ones after some hiccups. The inquiry says they’ll now be sending members out to the locations scheduled in advance to lay groundwork, meet with families and gather advice from the community ahead of time.
While the two and a half hour drive to Edmonton in winter might be a daunting ask to those in the Lakeland who’d like to offer their perspective, it might not be their only chance. The inquiry says this is only the first set of dates announced. More will be announced for 2018 that will focus on smaller, more remote communities.
The inquiry was set up to fulfill an election promise made the Liberal government last year in order to examine the systemic causes behind Canada’s large number of indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing. Some estimate this number could be as high as 4,000 over the years. The commission is also tasked with coming up with a fitting way to memorialize those lost.