Nation to Nation: MMIWG chief commissioner explains why inquiry needs more time and money

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls submitted a formal request to the federal government for a two-year extension and $50 million more dollars to complete its work.

Chief Commissioner Marion Buller told Nation to Nation (N2N) host Todd Lamirande what the inquiry would do with the extra time and money.

“We can do more in the way of investigating policing, investigating things like child welfare,” she said. “Also reaching out to marginalized women as well. It will provide us with the opportunity to give more depth and breadth to our investigation of the systemic causes of violence.” she said.

Buller is confident they can get the job done by 2020.

“We’re very clear on the work that we want to do, that we need to do to do the job right. And we have a plan for moving forward with that work.” Buller added.

Also on N2N, the one day summit on guns and gangs hosted by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. But there was little mentioned on keeping Indigenous youth out of the gang lifestyle.

APTN asked Minister Goodale what can be done about the increased recruitment by gangs on First Nations.

He promised discussions with First Nations leaders, with a bottom up approach that would keep Indigenous youth at the forefront.

“It needs to be in an open inclusive receptive frame of mind. And not dictating policy from the top down,” said Minister Goodale. “This will rely if it’s going to be successful on First Nations young people themselves telling us what is the right shape of the programming and relying on them to lead.”

The summit was attended by stakeholders across the country. One of them was a Saskatoon-based initiative called STR8UP, which strives to help Indigenous youth transfer out of a gang lifestyle.

One of its program directors and a presenter at Goodale’s summit, Jorgina Sunn, is a former gang member. She talked about hope on N2N.

“A hopeful child will not engage in a life of crime or become involved in a gang,” she said.

“And so how do we begin to bank on the hope that is in our communities. Because we’re not a distraught people. We have many, many strengths. We have many, many talented people. We have so many ambassadors of change that are leading the way and starting up and saying no to things that are happening. And so ultimately we just have to find a way to facilitate and grow that hope.” Sunn said.

And finally on N2N, a Nunavut MLA discusses devolution.

Talks are currently happening in Ottawa between the federal government and Nunavut on what federal powers will be transferred to the territory. An agreement in principle is supposed to be reached by the end of this month.

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