NWAC Interim President Francyne D. Joe Introduces the 2nd Inquiry Into MMIWG Report Card

Dear Families, Communities, Stakeholders, and Commissioners,

On behalf of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, I would like to present our second Report Card assessing the success of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls in fulfilling its responsibilities over the past three months.

NWAC has a history of working with families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and creating networks of families through a series of projects such as Family Gatherings, Narrative and Digital Storytelling, Sisters In Spirit Vigils, and its premiere research.  We feel a deep responsibility to the families and communities who are at the heart of our work and remain dedicated to producing results and taking actions that we hope can begin to fulfill our duty to the Indigenous women and girls whose interests we represent.

In order to provide feedback that is strength-based, solution-focused, and productive, fairness must be our primary concern.  We have acknowledged our personal connections to this work and applied a critical eye to eliminating any emotional reactions from this document.  Our last Report Card, drafted with minimal information from the Inquiry, called for transparency, communication, and a process that is trauma-informed and culturally sensitive.  It is now our solemn task to identify the areas where this Inquiry has failed and once again appeal to have families come first and for NWAC to be meaningfully consulted in a process in which we are deeply invested.

We are not asking anyone, especially families, to be patient with this Inquiry as it progresses. We are asking that you remain strong and face adversity with the same determination that has made this Inquiry possible. In solidarity, we will not back down until this Inquiry is what we were promised.  To the families and communities, this is your Inquiry to shape and your opportunity to share your stories.  To the stakeholders, this is a chance for healing as a nation and a vital step in the process of decolonization and reconciliation.  To the Commissioners and staff of the Inquiry, the great challenge presented by this work is an impetus to incredible growth and possibility.

I urge you to find your voice in holding this Inquiry accountable and to continue to join us in advocating for a process that reflects our shared values, hopes, and dreams.  We need you to keep writing and signing letters to the Inquiry, holding your own community gatherings, and speaking to the media in order for your stories to be told and your positions to be known. It is my hope that our shared focus may result in an outcome that honours our MMIWG in the way that they deserve and contributes to a future free from violence for the Indigenous women and girls we love.

Sincerely,

Francyne Joe

Interim President, Native Women’s Association of Canada

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