The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has submitted its request for more time and money but already one group is saying it’s a bad idea.
“We certainly don’t want a two-year extension,” said Rebecca Kudloo, president of Pauktuutit, Inuit Women of Canada.
The inquiry said in a news release Tuesday it asked Carolyn Bennett, the federal minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, for two more years to hear from witnesses across Canada. It did not attach a dollar figure.
But in a separate letter to the minister, a copy of which was obtained by APTN News, the inquiry seeks another $50 million.
Kudloo says her 14-member board decided last week it does not want to wait until after 2020 for recommendations that could save lives.
“We feel that action is needed right away,” she said in a telephone interview from her home in Baker Lake, NU. “We’ve been looking at family violence for 30 years.”
The inquiry was given two years and $54-million by the Trudeau government. Kudloo says her board likes the original timeline.
“They should finish the inquiry in December 2018 and then (take) six months to complete their report and recommendations,” she says.
But Chief Commissioner Marion Buller says the extra time would be “critically important” to the final report.
Not only would they hear from more witnesses, she said in a news release, but they could get into the issues more deeply.
“With an extension, the national inquiry plans to commission original research to fill gaps on pressing topics, including on the criminal justice system and systems of colonial violence,” said Buller.
Bennett said in a statement she will discuss the request for extension with “families, Indigenous partners, provincial and territorial counterparts and my Cabinet colleagues.”