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Ontario to open support office for families involved in MMIW inquiry

The Family Liaison Unit will connect families with information, services and supports

The inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is going to be a difficult process. It is sure to open up wounds in friends and family members who’ve lost someone they loved.

Culturally-sensitive and appropriate supports will be necessary for someone dealing with trauma after speaking at an inquiry event or participating in the process in any way, and one of the main criticisms of the inquiry is that it will not provide enough support to families.

Ontario, however, is setting up a new office for family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. According to a press release, the support office will help families access information about their lost loved ones and find culturally relevant services. In October, families will be able to access the Ontario government’s Family Liaison Unit that will be a link between families, government agencies and the inquiry itself.

What do you think of the new support office? What other steps should provinces be taking? Comment below!

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Comments (2)

  • Default User Image
    Maureen Trask, November 22, 2016 @ 6:20pm

    That's good news, I'm glad there is action being taken to address the gap in support services for missing women and children included in the Inquiry, certainly an incredibly helpful and necessary resource.

    However, what about the other families in Ontario with missing loved ones? My understanding is there are around 48 missing aboriginal women and girls in Ontario. I believe the number of missing indigenous men and boys would be the same, if not higher.

    In Ontario there were 370 long term missing persons (2014). What supports are available to them? I would hope that there is equal opportunity to resources for all families with missing or murdered loved ones. These families are suffering and need supports too. This is the right thing to do.

  • Default User Image
    Maureen Trask, November 29, 2016 @ 10:22pm

    NOTE: "NWAC Community Resource Guide", 2012
    What Can I Do to Help the Families of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls?
    Developed and released by the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) and their Sisters in Spirit (SIS) initiative.
    Link: https://nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2012_NWAC_Community_Resource_Guide_MMAWG.pdf

    Includes an educational tool kit about what to do when a loved one goes missing; most important is to file a missing persons report immediately, there is no waiting period...that's a myth.