December 15th, 2017

Bennett mum as chiefs call on Ottawa to replace Buller at helm of MMIW inquiry

By The Canadian Press on December 7, 2017.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Rorthern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 6, 2017. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett is remaining mum on a resolution passed today by First Nations chiefs pushing for the removal of the chief commissioner of the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett is keeping mum on a call by First Nations chiefs for the ouster of the head of the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Indigenous leaders at a special gathering of chiefs hosted by the Assembly of First Nations have approved a non-binding resolution that Marion Buller be removed as the inquiry’s chief commissioner.

In a statement, Bennett says the Liberal government is committed to putting an end to the ongoing tragedy and to ensure families get the answers they have waited for.

She also says Ottawa has yet to receive a formal request for more time from the commission, which is tasked with examining root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde says he takes his direction from the chiefs that make up the assembly, adding it will be up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government to decide on next steps.

The inquiry, which comprises four commissioners including Buller, is now more than a year into its two-year mandate but needs more time and money to do its work.

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