Canada has had its fair share of commissions and inquiries with lasting effects on Indigenous peoples in our country. Some of these commissions of inquiry had positive effects, like the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, which recommended that the construction of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline be delayed for 10 years and that no pipeline be built through northern Yukon, in recognition of the devastating effects a pipeline would have on the region’s ecology, communities, and culture.
Other commissions have had deplorable effects on Indigenous communities, like the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission out of British Columbia, wherein the B.C. government, following the Commission’s recommendations, took away land valued at $1.5 million dollars, and replaced it with double the land at a third the price. As a result of that Commission, the Taku River Tlingit were pushed out of downtown Atlin, B.C., and moved to a swampier piece of land. Our waterfront territory was taken away.
Then there are infinite commission reports that once incited hope, but now only sit on shelves, while the government consistently fails to implement a single recommendation.
Which category will the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women fall into? Will it have real effects on Indigenous women, or will it gather dust in the back of a Department of Education book room?