The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is in Smithers this week.
The ceremonies kicked off yesterday with Chief Commissioner Marion Buller and and other commissioners participating in a “Tears 4 Justice” walk into Smithers. At the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre the walkers were welcomed by hereditary chiefs, which was followed by the lighting of the sacred fire, water ceremony, and brushing off ceremony for families. That was followed by a feast.
Community hearings will be held all day today and tomorrow morning. The sacred fire will be kept burning, and a ceremony will take place at the end of the community hearings on Thursday, September 28.
The commissioners’ mandate is to examine and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls and the LGBTQ2S communities in Canada by looking at patterns and underlying factors. The commissioners’ mandate also includes examining institutional practices and policies implemented in response to violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls, including examining police investigation practices and responses, as part of this public investigation.
The community hearings are open to the public to observe unless specified as private by families and survivors.
The public may also watch the community hearings by accessing the links to live streaming on our Facebook page and website: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MMIWG/ Website: http://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/
The next community hearings will take place in Winnipeg during the week of October 16.