The planning phase of the federal government’s inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women is complete.
After announcing in December plans to shape how an inquiry should work and how far its mandate should extend, the federal Liberals are expected to formally announce the start of its inquiry on Wednesday.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett will meet families of missing and murdered indigenous women Tuesday night, on the eve of the government’s formal announcement which will mark the end of the government’s role in shaping the design of the inquiry and the beginning of work for the commissioners.
It’s expected that five commissioners will spend at least two years looking into a variety of issues, including policing practices and the justice system, and that the inquiry will have the power to summon witnesses and to compel them to give evidence. While $40-million has been ear-marked for the inquiry over the two years, Bennett says that’s a place-holder budget and is subject to change.
Pre-inquiry consultations raised several key themes, including policing practices and the justice system, the role of colonialism and residential schools and poverty.