Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the Liberal government has made “significant investments” in the recommendations brought forward by the commissioners for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“A lot of their recommendations around getting on with commemoration, getting on with dollars for healing, getting on with some of the changes in policing at the RCMP in terms of the major crime units, being able to deal with best practices,” said Bennett.
“I think that at the same time in June as we announced the extension we were also able to announce significant investments in what they had asked for in their interim report.”
Bennett, appearing on Face to Face with host Dennis Ward was responding to “new levels of frustration” the commissioners spoke about weeks earlier on the show.
The interim report was released in November 2017. Chief commissioner Marion Buller felt there was inaction on the part of the federal government on what she believed was a “ground-breaking” report.
The commissioners also expressed their disappointment with the inquiry being rushed and timed to the next federal election.
Bennett said that is not the case.
“I think that the kind of almost therapeutic effect of the family gatherings has been extraordinarily well received,” said Bennett.
Bennett felt the inquiry has been trauma informed and culturally relevant, “I think the families who have participated have really been grateful for that.”
The Minister also discussed the government’s Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework agreement.
Some First Nations feel the agreement has been rushed and poorly communicated.
“We want them at the table” Bennett said. “A lot of the people who have been critical are also at a table, negotiating the implementation of their rights.”
Bennett, who while in opposition was the Indigenous Affairs critic also discussed what it’s like to be on the other side of the aisle and in government.
She said it’s the best job in the country because, “there’s so much progress to be made.”
“It’s not always easy and there’s going to be critics but it’s exciting when we have so much to celebrate.”