Inquiry design meeting #9: January 20-21, 2016, Quebec, Quebec

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls held its ninth engagement meeting in Quebec City, on Wednesday and Thursday, January 20-21, 2016. This pre-inquiry meeting included survivors, families and loved ones. Their experiences, views and contributions will contribute to the design of the Inquiry.

A summary of the meeting is provided below. The summary is not a complete account of the discussions. Instead, it highlights the key themes that emerged from this engagement meeting. Read a copy of the discussion guide used at this meeting or complete the on-line survey to share your own views.

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The engagement meeting was held over two days. The first day was a preparation day for participants with an orientation session and a sharing circle where survivors, families and loved ones shared their personal stories associated with violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The second day was dedicated to how the inquiry should be designed. The day opened with wise words from an Elder and a traditional Wendat song to honour women was sung. Welcoming speeches from the Ministers followed. Participants acknowledged and honoured the women and girls who were murdered and who are still missing. Prayers were also offered for those most affected by these tragedies.

The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and the Minister of Canadian Heritage heard about the effects of violence on the survivors, the families of victims and their communities.

Participants in the Quebec session discussed their desire for those most directly impacted by violence to play a key role in an Inquiry and to have their needs met throughout the process.

The day closed with words of hope and a traditional Huron-Wendat round dance song.

Who attended

Survivors, families and loved ones of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls attended he pre-inquiry meeting. There were also representatives of front-line organizations. Also in attendance were:

Officials from both departments were present throughout the day.

The Quebec City meeting was attended by about 30 survivors, family members and loved ones from Indigenous communities in the province. An Elder and health support workers were also present to provide a safe and supportive environment for discussions.

Leadership and participation

Two questions were asked about who should lead and who should take part in the inquiry. The views on leadership included the need to have:

Participants also identified which groups should have a chance to take part in the inquiry:

Participants stressed the importance of involving survivors, families and loved ones. To make this possible, participants said the inquiry must:

Priorities and key issues

Participants identified the issues the inquiry must address if it is to produce recommendations for specific actions. These issues include:

Participants want the inquiry's final report to include recommendations for specific actions including:

In general, the participants agreed that solving the problem of violence will be a long-term process and will require building trust among Indigenous communities and the police and justice systems. As time passes, attention should continue to focus on the needs and concerns of survivors, families and loved ones.

Support and cultural practices

Participants outlined the need to include traditional practices and ceremonies in the inquiry process. The inquiry must also include healing processes to acknowledge and address the trauma felt by those affected.

Recommendations about how to include cultural practices and ceremony include:

Additional comments

As well as discussing the questions listed in the discussion guide, participants were invited to share other comments and views on the design of the inquiry. These include:

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