OTTAWA — The federal government has officially launched a two-year inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.
At a cost of almost 54 million dollars, the inquiry will be headed by Marion Buller, B.C.'s first female First Nations judge. She is one of five panelists who will try to come up with some background on why so many indigenous females have been victimized over many decades.
It will examine the factors driving a systemic, high rate of violence against Indigenous women and girls, and the role of various institutions, including police forces, governments and coroners' offices.
Kamloops-Cariboo-Thompson MP Cathy McLeod, the Conservative Party's Indigenous Affairs critic, says she's happy there's full support for the inquiry across Canada. "I think, first of all, and most importantly, we have all parties in Parliament now supporting this inquiry, and you have all the provinces and territories. So we have an inquiry moving forward."
McLeod adds, "I really am looking to see two things that happen out of this- one is peace and resolution for the families, and second of all, some very specific concrete recommendatiions that actually move forward and change things."
McLeod says she's agrees it shouldn't be just casting blame but coming up with things that will put the situation to rest and find some concrete ways of dealing with it. "And more importantly, there has been 40 studies already. One of the reasons we were initially reluctant to move forward with an inquiry is that there's so many recommendations, and there's so many things we know we should be doing. And 56 million dollars can do an awful lot of support in communities. But having said that, we're looking to see that the Commission comes through and perhaps has something that the government can really take action on."
— With files from The Canadian Press
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