Nunavut plans territorial co-operation with MMIWG inquiry

Nunavut inquiry will include examination of domestic violence

(Corrected 3:20 p.m.)
CAMBRIDGE BAY—People in Nunavut will get to weigh in on the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
That news was delivered in person by Keith Peterson, Nunavut’s justice minister and Cambridge Bay MLA this week, in his hometown, at the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s annual general meeting.
The Government of Nunavut order, that Peterson passed under the Nunavut Public Inquiries Act, will give the federally-appointed MMIW commission the authority to hold the inquiry in Nunavut and use both federal and territorial powers, the GN said in an email.
In Nunavut, the GN wants the additional consideration of domestic violence, due to the high level of domestic violence in the territory, Peterson said.
This expanded orientation was confirmed Oct. 6 by Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna, who also came to the KIA meeting.
Taptuna had already brought up that need last February, saying the inquiry should look “at the root causes around systematic domestic violence against women in Nunavut.”
While there are few missing Inuit women in Nunavut, Taptuna told Nunatsiaq News that he hopes the MMIW commission’s examination of domestic violence—which has led to the murder of many Nunavut women—will raise awareness nationally about that issue.
The inquiry will generally look at the factors contributing to higher levels of violence in Nunavut and the greater vulnerability to violence within Nunavut, says a GN document on the inquiry obtained by Nunatsiaq News.
Peterson, and Monica Ell-Kanayuk, Nunavut’s minister responsible for the Status of Women, are co-leads on the issue. The departments of justice, executive and intergovernmental affairs as well as family services will work with the federal government on how the inquiry is conducted in Nunavut.
Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the RCMP and others have formed a working group to plan details, support families and help with appropriate follow-up in the inquiry where “Nunavut’s languages and Inuit culture will be considered,” the GN document says.
And while operating in Nunavut, the federal commission will have the ability to summon witnesses, including police, government and others.
And the GN says that if you have a loved one who was murdered or is missing, you may have the opportunity to participate in the inquiry where counselling services will be available before, during and after any appearances.
The commission may also cover expenses for witnesses to participate, although the rules for this funding are yet to be determined
Details on dates, locations and participants haven’t been finalized yet, either.
In the meantime, you can call the GN victims’ services toll-free line at 1-866-456-5216 to speak to someone about the inquiry and your story.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, you can also call the national, toll-free crisis call line 24/7 at 1-844-413-6649 or the Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line at 1-800-265-3333.
Along with the inquiry, $16.17 million will be distributed by the commission over four years for the creation of family information liaison units in each province and territory and to increase victims’ services funding for families of MMIWG and survivors of violence.
These supports will be available to families, loved ones, survivors, elders, youth, local organizations, the GN says.