WHITEHORSE—The co-chairs of Yukon’s advisory committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls welcome today’s announcement on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and remain committed to working in partnership with governments and organizations across Canada to ensure that the inquiry is truly national in scope and reflects the realities of Yukon.
"The prevalence of violence against Indigenous women and girls is a national tragedy that requires a collective approach involving multiple stakeholders,” Minister responsible for the Women's Directorate Elaine Taylor said. “Building on the work of the Yukon Regional Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, today's long-awaited announcement represents another important step towards finding answers and solutions to this grave issue.”
Minister Taylor, Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief Doris Bill and Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council president Doris Anderson co-chaired a Yukon Regional Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in February 2016. The co-chairs also led a Yukon delegation to the National Roundtable that same month. From these two events, collaborative work continues to create Yukon-made solutions to the high levels of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
“Like so many Canadians, we are pleased that Canada will hold a national inquiry into what has happened to our stolen women and girls. Yukon is prepared and we will be fully engaged in the long-awaited federal inquiry. We must prevent these tragedies from continuing and provide the families with some measure of peace,” Bill said.
“As the inquiry commissioners listen to the testimonies from the families of missing and murdered women and girls, we will continue to bring a strong and united voice in support of the families of Yukon’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. We will ensure that the messages we heard at the Family Gathering, at the family meeting with Minister Bennett and at the Yukon Regional Roundtable are delivered, and we hope that this inquiry helps the process of healing continue,” Anderson said.
Families and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls had an opportunity to participate in pre-inquiry consultations with Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett in January 2016. The co-chairs also made a joint submission during the pre-inquiry process to ensure that the design of the inquiry is national in scope while recognizing the unique history, culture and realities of the North, and Yukon in particular.
“Violence prevention and ensuring the safety of Indigenous women and girls is an important issue facing all Canadians,” Minister of Justice Brad Cathers said. “We look forward to supporting the work of the national inquiry and working collaboratively with Yukon families, Aboriginal women’s groups and all levels of government.”
Communications, Women’s Directorate
Communications, Kwanlin Dün First Nation
Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council