Equality means equality for everyone.
Media Advisory – For Immediate Release
Indigenous Families Heartbroken Murdered Sons Will Not be Meaningfully Included in the National Inquiry
Expand the Inquiry Coalition Promises Separate Hearings for Families Left Out of Government Process
OTTAWA, ONTARIO — (March 7, 2017) The Coalition to Expand the Inquiry is disappointed with the sudden and unexplained policy reversal from the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls not to meaningfully include the stories of missing and murdered boys and men.
“The new statement from the National Inquiry acknowledges the real violence faced by our young men but instead of treating it as deserving of meaningful engagement actually aims to use the often brutal death of our sons merely as tools for another end,” said Ernie Crey, Expand the Inquiry Coalition Chair and BC Indigenous leader. “This adds salt to the wounds for families that have already suffered the worst possible tragedy.”
The Expand the Inquiry Coalition has worked to find a way where all Indigenous families would be given a seat at the table. “The Coalition will continue to uphold this commitment by putting in place a separate process where the testimony of families that have lost sons, brothers and fathers in tragic circumstances can be heard and made available to the public and policy makers,” said Chief Crey.
On January 11, 2016, the National Inquiry released a statement which acknowledged the severity of violence against Indigenous men, stating “the often male aggressor has often been the victim himself of sexual or other childhood violence thus perpetuating the cycle of violence so well documented.” Then on February 7, 2017, the Commissioners made an about face and stated they will only hear testimony regarding violence against men as a way to better understand how “violence against male victims underpins the female tragedy.”
This development is all the more baffling since meetings held by the Expand the Inquiry Coalition with MPPs in the Indigenous Affairs committee as well as Senator Murray Sinclair, head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, indicated that the scope of the National Inquiry was sufficiently expansive that missing and murdered men and boys could be meaningfully included.
Chief Ernie Crey
Expand the Inquiry Coalition Chairperson