Yukon group scrambles to prepare for pre-inquiry into MMIW
Woman's group worries some families from across the territory won't be able to attend meeting
Three federal ministers are coming to Whitehorse on Jan. 11 to hold a pre-inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, but some local groups are not impressed with the short notice.
The Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle found out on Dec. 31 that the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women will hear from families.
"The intent is to have families at the helm of the discussion on how the inquiry is shaped nationally," said Amanda Buffalo, who is scrambling to notify families about the meeting.
Buffalo says that with only 11 days notice, some people in other communities across the territory may have a difficult time having their voices heard.
"It's so important to us, in our community, and it's so important for the families to be involved," she said. "We would rather do it well than do it over."
According to Buffalo, support needs to be in place for family members before, during and after the meetings, which will take place over one day only. She says the federal government has been made aware of concerns over the timing, but the pre-inquiry is going ahead as planned.
'People want an inquiry, and they want it to start as soon as it can'
Federal organizer Margaret Buist says that people who attend the pre-inquiry will be compensated for travel costs, adding that the pre-inquiry will ask basic questions, and should not be as emotional as the actual inquiry will be.
"People want an inquiry, and they want it to start as soon as it can," said Buist. "It's extremely challenging. It's very very important work."
Pre-inquiries will be held in every province and territory.