National inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls chief commissioner Marion Buller in Vancouver on Aug. 31. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)"Family members, loved ones have been waiting for decades to be heard,"
NWAC's president Francyne Joe said in a statement.
"That's unfortunate that happened," she said. "Those expectations were built inappropriately and unfortunately. However, when you look at the start times ... for other inquiries and other commissions, we are actually doing very, very well."
“Family members, loved ones have been waiting for decades to be heard.”
Inquiry headquarters opening soon
Women hold images of murdered and missing indigenous women during a rally for missing and murdered indigenous women in Ottawa on Oct. 4. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)She said she can assure the families they are carefully putting together a process that will achieve the goal of doing no harm. "We are borrowing from the medical profession but we really want to ensure that our process supports the families before, during and after the time that they spend with us telling us their stories," she said. "Also, we want to make sure we are culturally appropriate because indigenous cultures across Canada are radically different from each other." Families will be given options on how to participate in the inquiry process, she noted, including the chance to speak publicly at community gatherings or in private sessions.
The hearings are not expected to start until early 2017, with an interim report due in November of next year. "I have no doubt that the whole world is watching but I work with a wonderful team of commissioners and we share the load," Buller said. "We are all mindful of public scrutiny ... We've had inquiries from people all over the world so we are very much aware of that."
“We want to make sure we are culturally appropriate because indigenous cultures across Canada are radically different from each other.”
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