Kimberly Murray’s mandate extended into the fall

Kimberly Murray

Canada's special interlocutor for unmarked graves at former residential schools, Kimberly Murray says the fight is not over to obtain records needed to answer "hard questions," including who the missing children were, how they died and where they are buried. Murray speaks at a news conference in Ottawa June 8, 2022. Photo: Justin Tang/The Canadian Press.

Canada’s independent special interlocutor for missing children and unmarked graves and burial sites will continue her work into the fall.

According to a statement released May 31, this will allow Kimberly Murray to “continue the crucial work of assisting Survivors, Indigenous families, and communities that are searching for the missing children and to deliver a Final Report before the end of her Mandate.”

Murray was appointed to the role on June. 8, 2022 for a two year term.

She’s expected to deliver a final report that will include “comprehensive recommendations that fully capture what the Independent Special Interlocutor has heard as the best way forward to properly respect and protect the unmarked graves and burial sites.”

Her role is to meet with survivors, First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, and gather information “relating to the identification, protection, and commemoration of unmarked graves and burial sites, including the exhumation and repatriation of remains, where desired.

“With more time to complete this important work, I will be able to properly assess what a new legal framework should be to protect the unmarked graves and burial sites, and to ensure that the Government of Canada better understands their obligations to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, “said Murray in the statement.

Murray’s interim report released in June 2023 said there have been more than a dozen communities that have marked potential unmarked graves. In her report she identified key issues that must be addressed including protecting sites, access to records and lack of long term funding for projects across the country.

A final national gathering will be held in the fall.

The initial budget for the office of the special interlocutor was $10.4 million.

Contribute Button