Editorial – MMIW Inquiry

Editorial for Dec. 17 on the federal government's announcement of a long overdo inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women.

There have been a lot of warm of fuzzy feelings shared across Canada this past week. Canadians have been applauded for their welcoming nature as the first wave of Syrian refugees arrived to the country. Prime Minister Trudeau was on hand to welcome the refugees, which made international headlines and is combating the decade-long reputation of the Harper government.

This is not the only thing that the new Liberal government has done to separate themselves from their predecessors. Last week, the government announced the first phase for the national inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women. Despite continual requests from First Nations communities and international human rights organizations, the Harper government neglected to initiate any kind of inquiry during its ten-year reign on Parliament Hill.

Trudeau’s willingness to repair relations with aboriginal Canadians should be appreciated by everyone in Canada. Our treatment of our Indigenous communities is one of the largest skeletons in our comparatively small closet. The effects of the residential school system impacted generations of families and can still be felt across Canada. And the thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women have de-humanized an entire subset of the population. By not taking action, authorities were essentially saying their lives were valued less than others.

Yet, by finally taking action and making a plan for an inquiry, the federal government is showing they do care about Canada’s Indigenous communities and they hope to make amends.

“For Indigenous Peoples, life in Canada has not been – and it is not today – easy, equitable, or fair,” said Trudeau in his address to the House of Commons on Dec. 7. “We need such an inquiry to provide justice to the victims, to provide healing for the families and to ensure that as we go forward this tragedy is ended.”

While his message may be slightly optimistic, he is completely right and it is a step in the right direction; the direction Canadians need to take to be more empathetic towards each other and to provide safety for everyone, including Indigenous Peoples, refugees and citizens.

It’s hard to see the downside to repairing relations with Indigenous Peoples.

Everyone in Canada will benefit by strengthened relations, as it will ease tensions within communities across Canada, including the Elk Valley. I believe that the more peace there is in the community, the more potential it has to grow and thrive.

I was thrilled by the federal government’s announcement to pursue a national inquiry because I believe that big actions trickle down. What is done at a national level will be felt on a local one. It might not be immediate and it might not be easy, but I look forward to the changes in local communities as we work with authorities and Aboriginal communities on this issue. Even if there are no direct changes in the Elk Valley, our communities will benefit, and I’m so excited about that

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Proposed changes afoot for Fernie’s Second Avenue

The change would allow businesses to extend patios to serve more clients

Fernie Alpine Resort to reopen this summer

The resort will open for summer operations on Saturday, June 27, 2020

LETTER: Local tourism’s road to recovery

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Fernie released the joint letter on May 26

RDEK encourages Elk Valley residents to prepare for flood season

With spring melt comes rising water levels and an increased flood risk throughout the region

Planting your very own victory garden

The Free Press publisher and gardening expert, Madi Bragg, gives tips for planting

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Restorative pole project underway in Edgewood

The pole was made almost 50 years ago to pay respect to local First Nations

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

Most Read