AFN should hold MMIW inquiry: Dene Nation Chief

Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus says he wants the Assembly of First Nations to set up its own commission to look into missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

The Dene Nation says it wants the Assembly of First Nations to set up its own commission for missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

Dene National Chief, Bill Erasmus, talked about the idea at the Native Women's Association of the N.W.T.'s Annual General Meeting.

Erasmus says people shouldn't have to wait around for the federal government to take action.

“By virtue of our own authority, which the supreme court of Canada calls sovereign authority, we have the authority to set up our own commission, and this issue becomes an issue that is dealt with the way we want it to be dealt with.”

Erasmus says he wants aboriginal women to be part of the process, and hopes agencies like the Native Women's Association would participate.

He says the AFN would need help, though.

Erasmus wants to ask international organizations, like the United Nations, for political and economic support.

He hopes to move the idea forward at the next Dene Nation meeting in November.