Designing a National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: Discussion Guide

This discussion guide below was used during the pre-inquiry design process to guide the meetings held from December 2015 to February 2016, as well as responses to the on-line survey and e-mail/phone/mail submissions. The public participation stage of the pre-inquiry design process is now closed. Thank you for participating. Information on how to participate in the inquiry itself will be available once the inquiry is launched.

For more than a decade, Indigenous families and communities, National Aboriginal Organizations, and non-governmental and international organizations, have asked the Government of Canada to take action on the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and to call a national inquiry to develop an action plan to end the violence.

The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Minister of Status of Women are leading on engagement with survivors, family members and loved ones, front-line organizations, National Aboriginal Organizations, and provinces/territories to seek input on the design, objectives, scope and format of the inquiry.

For more information about past federal inquiry processes, please consult the Fact sheet on inquiries.

Pre-inquiry discussion

The Government of Canada wants first to meet with survivors, families and loved ones, Indigenous organizations and leaders, provincial and territorial governments, regional and local organizations working with the families and with women who are at risk, and others, to ensure that we understand what they want to see come out from the inquiry.

The pre-inquiry design process will last from December 2015 to spring 2016 with meetings held across the country and supported by an online survey.

We have previously heard that the inquiry should accomplish some or all of these goals:

Discussion questions on designing the inquiry

We would like to hear your thoughts on the following questions and any other input you have on how the inquiry should be designed.

  1. Who should lead the inquiry?
  2. Who do you think should provide views or have an opportunity to participate in the inquiry?
  3. What are the key issues that need to be addressed by the inquiry?
  4. How can the process be set up so it results in providing concrete and practical recommendations for specific actions?
  5. How can cultural practices and ceremonies be incorporated into the design of the inquiry?
  6. How is it best to involve the families, loved ones and survivors in the inquiry?
  7. How should Indigenous groups (National Aboriginal Organizations, front-line workers, band councils, etc.) be included in the inquiry?
  8. What supports (health supports, counselling, translation, etc.) may be needed during the inquiry for individuals who are participating?
  9. Is there anything else you would like to add to help design the inquiry?


A list of pre-inquiry design meetings is available online.


Any involvement in public events shall be voluntary.

A summary of what you say or write to us during the pre-inquiry design process will be posted online with regular updates. Please note we will not use your name or identify you. We are recording regional meetings and taking notes. Media will not be allowed in any of the regional meetings.

Please note that some of the information you share with us may have to be shared under federal laws for Access to Information and Privacy.

Survivors, family members and loved ones can request that they speak to someone in private at the pre-inquiry sessions.

How to participate in the pre-inquiry design process

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:

Reporting on what we've heard

Key to the success of this pre-inquiry design process is reporting back on what we've heard from participants.

Summaries from the pre-inquiry meeting will be posted online.

Once all sessions are complete, a final summary will be posted online to capture what we heard during the entire pre-inquiry design process.

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