Group boy­cotts ses­sion, say­ing Métis left out

Ques­tions not tai­lored to their needs, say women, frus­trated with na­tional in­quiry

StarMetro Edmonton - - EDMONTON - OMAR MOSLEH JONATHAN HAY­WARD/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS thes­tar.com/ed­mon­ton

Women of the Métis Na­tion say they’ve been “shut out” of the process for the Na­tional In­quiry into Miss­ing and Mur­dered Indige­nous Women and Girls, a pat­tern con­sis­tent with hear­ings for the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion and Six­ties Scoop.

Last week, mem­bers of the Women of the Métis Na­tion (Les Femmes Michif Otipemisi­wak) boy­cotted a guided di­a­logue ses­sion from Nov. 19-21 in Ed­mon­ton. They ar­gue the ses­sion was led by a third-party con­trac­tor who did not tai­lor the ques­tions specif­i­cally to the sys­temic chal­lenges Métis women and girls face com­pared to other Indige­nous peo­ples.

Melanie Omeniho, pres­i­dent The Na­tional In­quiry into Miss­ing and Mur­dered Indige­nous Women has weath­ered a storm of crit­i­cism, rang­ing from a lack of trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity, to high staff turnover, and most re­cently, not in­clud­ing Métis voices.

of Women of the Métis Na­tion, said her or­ga­ni­za­tion has been work­ing with the na­tional in­quiry since Au­gust to en­sure the di­a­logue ses­sion would in­clude the voices of Métis women, fam­i­lies, and

sur­vivors. But she said the process has fallen short.

“There was never, ever Métis fam­i­lies iden­ti­fied as part of the hear­ing,” Omeniho said. “So we were never able to go there as in­ter­venors.”

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