Quebec Native Women reacts to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Press Conference
Kahnawake, July 6, 2017 – Following the press conference held on July 6, 2017 by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), Quebec Native Women (QNW) welcomes favorably the announcement of community visits and hearings that will take place during the summer and fall 2017. Concrete actions such as this ensures better transparency and communication towards organizations, families and survivors of violence. Moreover, QNW strongly suggest to the Commission to move forward with requesting a time extension for the Inquiry. At this stage, it is more than necessary for the success of the National Inquiry.
QNW has serious concerns regarding the schedule presented at the press conference. QNW is disappointed with the limited number of weeks for the community visits and hearings in the province of Quebec. The expectations of families and survivors of violence are, once again, being compromised as the Commission offers limited space to the communities of Quebec. Many questions remain and the organization is concerned about the lack of response. Thus, QNW commits to submit its concerns in writing to the Commission.
The organization is also worried about the Commission’s ability to fully respond to its mandate. It is worth noting that the latter, provided in the Quebec decree, is, among other things « to investigate and report on the systemic cause of all forms of violence – including sexual violence – against Indigenous women and girls in Quebec ». The issues covered by this mandate affects all communities in the province. Indigenous women affected by all forms of violence deserve representation in this Inquiry; they deserve to be heard, no matter where they come from. The Commission must have the human resources and time to reach those who wish to testify and thus ensure thorough fieldwork.
« These are constructive criticisms and QNW hopes that they will be considered and taken seriously. After more than ten years of demands for this Inquiry, QNW hopes that it will be successful and that it will fully meet its mandate. The success of the Inquiry depend in part on the testimony that will be heard and gathered during the hearings, which is why it is important for families and survivors to participate. The responsibility of ensuring the success of the Inquiry is up to the Commission, » says Viviane Michel, QNW’s president.
Quebec Native Women