MMIW commissioner Marilyn Poitras resigns in another blow to inquiry

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[That makes one of five commissioners, the executive director, plus other key staff, all having resigned over how the inquiry is being run. *RON*]

Gloria Galloway, The Globe and Mail, 11 July 2017

Marilyn Poitras, one of the commissioners of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, has resigned. (Fred Chartrand/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Marilyn Poitras, one of the commissioners of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, has resigned. (Fred Chartrand/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
One of the five commissioners appointed by the federal Liberal government to preside over the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women has resigned, saying she could not accept the way the process has been organized.

Marilyn Poitras, a Métis professor of law at the University of Saskatchewan, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday saying her resignation would take place effective on Saturday.

“It is clear to me that I am unable to perform my duties as a commissioner with the process in its current structure,” wrote Ms. Poitras.

“I believe this opportunity to engage community on the place and treatment of Indigenous women is extremely important and necessary,” she wrote. “It is time for Canada to face this relationship and repair it. I support principles aimed at doing this work in an inclusive, community-engaged way through Indigenous practice and from a strength-based process.”

Ms. Poitras’ resignation from the $53.8-million inquiry which was established by the Trudeau government to examine the reasons why so many Indigenous women in Canada have been murdered or gone missing is one more blow to the inquiry which has been plagued by delays and departure of key staff.

Just last week, chief commissioner Marilyn Buller held a news conference to assure Canadians that the inquiry was on track despite critics concerns. Ms. Buller said at that time that the inquiry had, in her mind, moved with “lightning speed” and she announced that the first hearings with families of victims would begin in the fall.

But several staff members have resigned in recent months, including executive director Michele Moreau, and there have been calls for Ms. Buller’s own resignation.

The inquiry, which was part of Mr. Trudeau’s campaign platform, officially began on Sept. 1 of last year.

Many Indigenous leaders, activists and families have said they felt excluded from the process and family members have asked why is taking the commissioners, who have held just one hearing to date, so long to get to their communities to hear their stories.

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