Marion Buller, B.C. First Nations judge, to lead MMIW inquiry

B.C.'s first female First Nations judge will lead Canada's inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and Marion Buller followed up today's announcement by saying "the survivors' losses, pain, strength and courage" will inspire the panel's work over the next two years.

Buller has been named chief commissioner on the five-member panel, which has been tasked by Ottawa to help bring a "national tragedy to an end."

Before she was appointed to the provincial court bench, Buller worked as a civil and criminal lawyer. She also led an initiative to open the province's first First Nations court, taking a restorative justice approach to sentencing on criminal and family court matters.

The other commissioners are:

  • Michèle Audette, leading women's First Nations advocate, Innu francophone and former president of the Native Women's Association of Canada.
  • Qajaq Robinson, Ottawa-based lawyer specializing in Aboriginal issues and land and treaty claims, born in Nunavut.
  • Marilyn Poitras, constitutional and aboriginal law expert at the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Brian Eyolfson, First Nations and human rights lawyer, former vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Buller acknowledged the commissioners have a "difficult" job ahead, and said they will be guided by those who have suffered from violence.

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