WMN Press Release re Announcement from Minister Carolyn Bennett Regarding Request for Extension of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry

Ottawa, ON—Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak/Women of the Métis Nation (LFMO) is appreciative of Minister Carolyn Bennett’s announcement on June 5th, 2018 around the terms of the extension granted to the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

As an organization, LFMO had made the position of the Métis Nation very clear when the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has asked for a two-year extension and $50 million to complete its work. LFMO believesthat an investment into families and survivors was imperative and that families should not be subjected to a 2-year extension before addressing many of the overwhelming issues that are being realized by Indigenous people who are facing trauma from experiences they have faced.

This inquiry has been granted a six-month extension from December 31, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The National Inquiry has been encouraged to continue activities under the Inquiries Act and under the existing Orders in Council to December 31, 2018. After this point, the Inquiry will begin writing its final report and recommendations.

Melanie Omeniho, President of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak reacted to the announcement stating “This extension is the best possible move for the government to have made. We are pleased to hear that new moneys have been allotted directly to families, communities and to improving much needed health, healing and wellness services. The solution that Ministers Bennett, Philpott and Monsef have brought forward is the best case scenario for everyone.”

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak has been open about their concerns regarding the National Inquiry’s exclusion of Métis women, girls and survivors. A press release on March 8, 2018 explained their position, quoting President Omeniho as expressing that “the Inquiry has excluded Métis women and girls and we say it is not fulfilling its mandate. More time and money will not change that. We do not support giving additional time and millions of dollars to continue on its exclusionary course.” We will ensure that Métis driven research will be conducted to ensure that the unique experiences of Métis families of missing and murdered Indigenous women are included in the final report of the Inquiry.

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