The chief commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will not be present at hearings in Yellowknife next week.

Tracy Woods, left, and Laureen Laboucan lead the Sisters in Spirit walk in downtown Yellowknife Wednesday. The event, in its 12th year, is held in honour of the Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or been murdered in the NWT and across Canada. Emelie Peacock/NNSL photo

The inquiry announced this week commissioners Qajaq Robinson, Michele Audette and Brian Eyolfson will be in Yellowknife from Monday to Thursday to hear testimony from loved ones of lost women, girls and LGBTQ2S people, and survivors of violence.

Chief commissioner Marion Buller’s name however, was notably absent.

It is unclear why Buller will not be attending the Yellowknife hearings. Questions to the inquiry spokesperson were not answered before Friday’s deadline.

About 30 family members and survivors have signed up to share their stories in Yellowknife.

Inquiry events will begin Monday at 4 p.m. in the Chateau Nova Hotel Ballroom with a lighting of the sacred Qulliq.

The Quilliq is an Inuit lamp the inquiry says symbolizes the strength of women, as well as their love and caring.

This will be followed by remarks from the commissioners and “local dignitaries,” and a community dinner, according to a schedule posted to the inquiry’s website.

Commissioners and statement takers will begin hearing testimony on Tuesday.

Hearings will take place in the Chateau Nova Hotel Ballroom and run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Family, friends and survivors can provide testimony in a number of ways: in public or private hearings, sharing circles, through art, or through statement gatherers.

The inquiry offers a toll-free, 24/7 telephone support line with service available in English, French, Inuktitut, Cree and Ojibway.

The number to call is: 1-844-413-6649.



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