The Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan (CIPs) is calling for the commissioners of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to step aside for the good of the inquiry. The Coalition is an affiliate of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, a national organization representing off reserve First Nations and Métis peoples.
CIPs believes the inquiry is in serious trouble, saying it has failed and has developed a toxic relationship with families who have been re-traumatized.
“This National Inquiry is troubled and the commissioners must step aside for the good of the inquiry and the families involved,” said John Hanikenne, president of CIPS.
He goes on to say that the five commissioners have failed to carry out their responsibilities and the inquiry has become a boondoggle.
CIPS supports Hereditary Chief Bill Wilson, who in press accounts has called the national inquiry a “bloody farce” and for the replacement of the commissioners.
“We have great respect for Chief Bill Wilson and the moral authority that he carries,” said Kim Beaudin, vice chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and former president of CIPS.
The commission has been ineffectual, reads a press statement from CIPs today, spending $5 million to date.
“The inquiry process was allowed to become too legalistic and the advice of Elders and families was not respected,” said Hanikenne.
The first family hearings for the inquiry began today in Whitehorse. While the commission has come under fire for delays and a lack of communication with the families of the murdered or missing, many still support the process, including Senator Lillian Dyck, who told Windspeaker recently “(People) just have to be patient… the Creator has a path and it is so hard (but) we need to trust that it will happen.”