Canada | Law | Opinion

Ruth Hopkins: Native woman leads inquiry into our missing sisters

Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo from Twitter

Native women are making history in Canada as Jody Wilson-Raybould serves as the first Native minster of justice. Wilson-Raybould will be leading a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, tribal judge Ruth Hopkins notes:
Jody Wilson-Raybould is young, but has a wealth of experience. She earned her law degree from UBC. She became a Crown prosecutor in 2000, and in 2003, she was elected as a commissioner by the Chiefs of the First Nations Summit. While serving as a councilor for the We Wai Kai Nation, where she is a member, she was elected regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations in 2009 and reelected to the post in 2012.

The previous Harper administration wasn’t exactly known for having a solid working relationship with First Nations. The rights of Native peoples were attacked, even through the Court system. Their rights to protest were equated to terrorism, and Nations found themselves at odds with oil companies who wanted to drive pipelines through their pristine lands. Wilson- Raybould has expressed distaste for the way the conservative government operated with First Nations over the past several years. With an Indigenous person like her at the helm, many hope this hostile relationship will change.

Jody’s Kwak'wala name is Puglaas, meaning "Woman Born to Noble People." Besides her education and experience, she will bring a fresh, new perspective to her post. What I’m most excited about is how she will help launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Get the Story:
Ruth Hopkins: Indigenous Woman in Law Breaks New Ground (Indian Country Today 12/9)

Also Today:
Missing, murdered indigenous women: families 'hopeful' after inquiry announcement (CBC 12/8)
Missing and murdered indigenous women: 1st phase of public inquiry outlined today (CBC 12/8)
Liberals launch first phase of inquiry into missing, murdered indigenous women (CP 12/8)
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announces inquiry into missing Indigenous women (The National Observer 12/8)
Liberal gov't launches 1st phase of missing, murdered women inquiry (CTV 12/8)
Canada Launches Inquiry Into Murdered Aboriginal Women and Opens the Door to Repealing 'Racist' Indian Act (VICE News 12/8)
22 cases added to CBC's missing and murdered indigenous women database (CBC 12/8)
Missing and murdered indigenous women inquiry resonates in Atlantic Canada (CBC 12/9)

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