UVic Law and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry Commissioners

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was announced yesterday, and 3 of the 5 appointed commissioners have close ties to UVic Law.

UVic Law alumna and BC Provincial Court Judge, the Honourable Marion Buller (LLB '87), will lead the inquiry as chief commissioner. Judge Buller was the first Indigenous woman appointed to the bench in BC, before which she worked as a criminal and civil lawyer and served as both director and president of the Canadian Indigenous Bar Association. She was instrumental in the creation of the First Nations Court of BC in 2006, which focuses on restorative justice and rehabilitation. Judge Buller is from the Mistawasis First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Commissioner Qajaq Robinson graduated from the UVic Law Akitsiraq program in 2005. Born in Igloolik, Nunavut, she is fluent in Inuktitut and works in Ottawa as an Associate with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP as part of Team North; a 70-person team of lawyers working with First Nations communities. She clerked for Chief Justice Beverley Browne at the Nunavut Court of Justice and became a Crown prosecutor in Nunavut for four years. 

Professor Marilyn Poitras was an assistant professor at the UVic Law school from 1997-98. She completed her LLB at the University of Saskatchewan where she is now an assistant professor in the College of Law, specializing in Aboriginal and constitutional law. She received a master of laws from Harvard and articled at the Saskatchewan Department of Justice. Professor Poitras is Métis and has been involved in Aboriginal law and governance as a consultant, lawyer, teacher and film producer.

Rounding out the Commission are Ontario First Nations and human rights lawyer Brian Eyolfson and Michèle Audette, former deputy minister of Québec's status of women and former president of the Native Women's Association of Canada.

The inquiry will begin on September 1st of this year and run until December 2018 with a budget of $53.8 million. More information on the commissioners and inquiry is available here.