Marion Buller, Chief Commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls said in a statement late Saturday that two more inquiry staff members had left the inquiry. Debbie Reid has been named the new executive director of the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Two more staff members have left the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, just a day after the inquiry named a new executive director.
According to a public statement released late Saturday by chief commissioner Marion Buller, director of research Aimeé Craft and lead commission counsel Susan Vella are no longer with the inquiry. The departures were announced after the inquiry posted an announcement on social media late Friday saying that Debbie Reid had been named the inquiry’s new executive director.
The loss of the two senior staffers are part of a series of high profile resignations the inquiry has faced in the last thirteen months. Those departures include Michele Moreau , who resigned as executive director in June and inquiry commissioner Marilyn Poitras, a Metis lawyer from Saskatchewan, who resigned in July.
According to the statement, Craft has decided to return to her position in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Her resignation will take effect on Nov. 1.
Vella’s departure is effective immediately. Buller’s statement expressed confidence in the current legal team, and said they would carry on the work until a replacement could be named.
The inquiry has faced criticism in recent months from victims’ families who said they were not being adequately consulted about the shape of the inquiry.
“With Debbie having just begun her work, the Commissioners are working with her to see what changes to the organizational structure — including the research and legal functions — could help us to streamline the work of the Inquiry as we remain focused on delivering on our promises to survivors, families and our communities,” read Buller’s Saturday statement.
Reid is from the Skownan First Nation in Manitoba. She was a special adviser to Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine when he held the job and has also worked for the federal government.
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