NAN ACKNOWLEDGES NEXT STAGE OF NATIONAL INQUIRY
THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum acknowledged today’s announcement of the next stage of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls:
“The loss of so many Indigenous women and girls is a national tragedy and the appointment of this independent commission is an important step towards reconciliation. It is critical that the systemic effects of violence and discrimination against our women and girls be addressed, including police conduct and quality of investigations. We welcome this scrutiny, and expect it will reveal how the chronic underfunding of First Nations policing has hampered investigations into the disappearances and murders of many of our members. We are disappointed with the lack of opportunity for families to pursue or re-open old cases through the justice system, and the lack of specific direction to work with justice partners to improve the system. Examination of the child welfare system will also be integral to this process and we look forward to the Commissioners’ recommendations regarding federal and provincial jurisdiction. It is our expectation that this inquiry will be conducted in consultation with victims, their families and our leaders in an open and transparent manner. We acknowledge the grief of the families and recognize that this will be a difficult and painful process. We will continue to advocate for the appropriate resources and supports so our members can participate fully in this process.”
Deputy Grand Chief Achneepineskum, a NAN Elder and a family member attended the announcement as Ontario delegates. Achneepineskum is calling for the inquiry to visit NAN First Nations to gain insight into the challenges with respect to policing and access to health care, social services and other vital supports. Thirty-four of NAN’s 49 First Nations are isolated and remote and face geographic and logistical challenges unique to the North.
For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or (807) 621-2790 mobile or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
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