Front line worker says 'immediate action' needed to save MMIWG inquiry - APTN NewsAPTN News

Front line worker says ‘immediate action’ needed to save MMIWG inquiry



Todd Lamirande
APTN National News

The executive director of a shelter in Calgary says the only thing that will save the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is a reset starting with the resignation of the remaining commissioners.

At one time, Josie Nepinak said she had high hopes for the inquiry – but no longer.

“Immediate action needs to take place,” said Nepinak. “We are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene and create a safe place for the recommendations that were made.”

The news out of the inquiry isn’t getting any better.

On Tuesday, its director of community relations abruptly resigned.

And demands for a complete reset of the inquiry were made in an open letter to the prime minister.

The open letter to prime minister Trudeau is blunt.

“They have continually dismissed our concerns, refused to take steps to rebuild trust and have maintained a deeply misguided approach that imposes a harmful, colonial process on us,” the letter to Trudeau states.



Nepinak signed the letter.

“It’s about budgets. It’s about deadlines. It’s about all of those things they expect us as families are going to fit into that construct,” she said.

Nepinak said as a front line worker, now an executive director with 25 years of experience, she has seen first hand the official response to a missing Indigenous woman in Calgary.

“We have a policy where if a woman doesn’t return after 24 hours back to the shelter, we make a missing person report to the Calgary police service.

“And we made that report and a day or two after a police officer called us and says why should we look for her if we’re not taking her back. I should just close this file.

Nepinak said a clean slate is needed – but believes the research compiled by the inquiry so far is still useful.

“I think that if we go back and read some of those reports, and the commissioners read those reports and actually respected the words of families, I believe that they can save the work that’s already been done,” said Nepinak.

The bad news for the inquiry continued to pile on on Tuesday.

Waneek Horn-Miller, director of community relations resigned.

APTN National News contacted Horn-Miller to talk about her resignation. She declined.

The inquiry continues to go about its business and is set to visit communities in Nova Scotia next week in preparation for its hearings in Halifax the week of October 30.

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One Response to “Front line worker says ‘immediate action’ needed to save MMIWG inquiry”

    Darlene R. Okemaysim-Sicotte August 10, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

    In Saskatoon Saskatchewan we are ready for Hearings, we are okay with current Commissioners and staff. We have such great rapport with the Community Liason assigned to SK & MB. We are not in favour of a hard re-set. I hope that the people who sign such group letters, consider they are missing a healthy opportunity to be instruments of change and support. Instead families are relying on other families because bit by bit groups are closing the door on them when they agree to be part of coaltion – there will be no trust. Thank you to CBC in Saskatoon who took 3 opportunities to talk with us for not wanting a re-set. As an individual, wrote my own letter to the Prime Minister to no-reset or fire the Commissioners, in it I shared that any of the signatories would not be desirable candidates to replace the way it is right now. As I a family ~~ absolutely not would I want any of these individuals or organizations to offer any help because this is not advancement of indigenous families, you are all further victimizing families that are in the midst of the process. And I encourage indigenous women leaders in the country to take considerable time learning about the Inquiry instead of using social media to discredit and criticize…the world is watching and most importantly so are the families.