07/06/2017 16:06 EDT | Updated 07/06/2017 18:46 EDT

MMIW Inquiry Moving At 'Lightning Speed': Marion Buller

The inquiry has faced controversy over the resignation of its executive director.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
Marion Buller, Chief Commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, speaks during a news conference at Haida House at the Museum of Anthropology, in Vancouver on July 6, 2017.

VANCOUVER — The head of an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women denies the process is drifting, saying in Vancouver that she believes it's moving at "lightning speed."

Marion Buller says that in the first eight months, staff have been hired, offices have opened and a first hearing has been held.

The inquiry has faced controversy over the resignation of its executive director and complaints from families that the process is not moving fast enough.

Buller says community hearings will be held beginning Sept. 10 in Thunder Bay, Ont., before moving on to Smithers, B.C., Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Halifax, Edmonton, Yellowknife and closing in mid-December in Maliotenam, Que.

Inquiry urged to be more transparent

She also says two expert panels will speak to the inquiry this year on the topics of Indigenous laws and decolonization and human rights.

Executive director Michele Moreau resigned last week, citing personal reasons, prompting the Native Women's Association of Canada to urge the inquiry to be more transparent and reassuring to families.

Here is a list of the hearings that will be held in the fall:

Sept. 10 (week of) — Thunder Bay, Ont.

Sept. 25 — Smithers, B.C.

Oct. 16 — Winnipeg

Oct. 23 - Saskatoon, Sask.

Oct. 30 - Halifax

Nov. 6 - Edmonton

Nov. 13 - Yellowknife

Nov. 27 - Maliotenam, Que.

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