Pre-inquiry design process
The Government of Canada believes that an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls can only be designed after hearing from key stakeholders and receiving their input. The Government of Canada wanted to ensure that the voices of survivors, families and loved ones were heard first – about how the inquiry could best be designed to meet their needs – before hearing from National Aboriginal Organizations, provinces and territories, and others. The national pre-inquiry design process took place across Canada from December 2015 to February 2016.
On this page
About the pre-inquiry design process
The pre-inquiry design process was led by three federal ministers: the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett; the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould; and the Minister of Status of Women, Patty Hajdu.
To support their work, a secretariat was set up at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to manage the operations and logistics of the pre-inquiry design process. This included organizing meetings with the ministers, providing a summary of each meeting and collecting and summarizing the submissions received in person, by mail and on-line.
The pre-inquiry design process engaged thousands of stakeholders across Canada, including:
- loved ones
- Indigenous organizations and communities
- provinces and territories
- front-line organizations
The views and ideas expressed by participants helped develop an inquiry which honors the victims, provides healing for the families and delivers concrete, achievable recommendations for the prevention of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
How stakeholders participated
The government held meetings across Canada with survivors, family members and loved ones, as well as National Aboriginal Organizations, provincial/territorial representatives, front-line organizations and others to seek their views and input on the design and scope of the inquiry.
In addition to the pre-inquiry design meetings, Canadians were encouraged to share their views:
- through an on-line survey, available from January 5 to February 22, 2016
- by phone until February 28, 2016
- by email until February 28, 2016
- by regular mail until February 28, 2016
- through social media using the hashtag: #MMIW
The information gathered was used to help design the inquiry.
What we heard
After the December 8, 2015 announcement of the launch of the inquiry process, two meetings were held in Ottawa:
- the first meeting was held on December 11, 2015 with survivors, families and loved ones
- the second meeting was held on December 16, 2015 with National Aboriginal Organizations and provincial and territorial representatives
In January and February 2016, regional meetings were held across Canada and input was sought using a discussion guide.
Summaries of the meetings are available:
- Ottawa, Ontario: December 11, 2015
- Ottawa, Ontario: December 16, 2015
- Thunder Bay, Ontario: January 6, 2016
- Yellowknife, Northwest Territories: January 8, 2016
- Whitehorse, Yukon: January 11, 2016
- Vancouver, British Columbia: January 13, 2016
- Prince George, British Columbia: January 15, 2016
- Halifax, Nova Scotia: January 20, 2016
- Québec City, Québec : January 21, 2016
- Montréal, Québec : January 22, 2016
- Iqaluit, Nunavut: January 29
- Toronto, Ontario: February 5
- Winnipeg, Manitoba: February 8
- Regina, Saskatchewan: February 9
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: February 10
- Edmonton, Alberta: February 11
- Calgary, Alberta: February 12
- Ottawa, Ontario: February 15
All efforts were made to give survivors, families and loved ones as much advance notice as possible to be able to participate in the meetings in their regions. Invitations were circulated through local and national Indigenous organizations and their networks, as well as through the INAC regional offices. Travel costs for survivors, families and loved ones were provided by the Government of Canada and trained support workers were available during the meetings. Elder counsel and ceremony formed an integral part of each meeting. Given the nature of the discussions and out of respect for survivors, families and loved ones, these meetings were not open to the public or the media.
In May 2016, a final report was published summarizing all the feedback provided during the pre-inquiry design process:
This website deals with topics which may cause trauma to readers due to its troubling subject matter. The Government of Canada recognizes the need for safety measures to minimize the risks associated with traumatic subject matter. A national, toll-free crisis call line has been set up to provide support for anyone who requires assistance. This line is available free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 1-844-413-6649 if you or someone you know is triggered and needs help or support while reading the content on this website.