Bennett silent as Indigenous chiefs urge feds to replace head of MMIW inquiry
National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Chief Commissioner, Marion Buller speaks during an interview with The Canadian Press, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, December 7, 2017 5:22PM EST
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.