Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
In P120

 Terms of Reference for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

 Students at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law extend an invitation to the whole community to join us on February 28th for an evening panel discussion about the Terms of Reference for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Terms of Reference is a document written by Canada when it established the Inquiry. This document sets out the scope and focus of the Inquiry. The event is organized by the Indigenous Law Students' Association, Aboriginal Law Club, and Feminist Law Students' Association at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. 


We will begin with an opening ceremony at 6:00pm lead by Elder and Métis Nation of Ontario Senator Constance Simmonds in the Rowell Room (78 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7). Everyone is welcome. No experience with ceremony is needed. Please join us to start the event in a good way. 

 The panel discussion will follow from 6:30-8:30pm in room P120 of the Jackman Law Building at the University of Toronto (78 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7). Ms. Mary Eberts, Dr. Pam Palmater, and an additional panelist TBA will participate in the panel, moderated by Dr. Rhonda Bessner. 




Purpose Statement


We hope to focus on topics such as:

  • How have "terms of reference" been interpreted in past Inquiries? What is the impact of different interpretations?
  • Is it possible to investigate systemic causes of violence in an Inquiry? 
  • What are "findings of fact" and how do they impact on the Commissioner's interpretation of the terms of reference?
  • What legal powers do the terms of reference give to the Commissioners? 


We recognize that many family members and the communities who support them are looking for concrete answers on how the terms of reference might impact them. We hope these answers are forthcoming. Unfortunately, the panel members are not in a position to answer questions about the inner workings of the Inquiry. This is an independent event, and there will not be a representative from the Inquiry formally present at the event. 


We are committed to bringing this discussion to the community in a thoughtful way that is sensitive to the uncertainties that surround the Inquiry and the trauma that many people have suffered in connection to the murders and disappearances of beloved daughters, mothers, sisters, aunties, and friends. While the panel discussion will not be positioned to provide greater clarity as to how the Inquiry will ultimately unfold, our goal is to provide a discussion on what the Inquiry can do within the scope of its terms of reference mandate.  


Sinéad Charbonneau and Lara Koerner Yeo are available to respond to questions about this event. They can be reached by email at sinead.dearman@mail.utoronto.ca and larankyeo@gmail.com


Food will be provided.

For more information, contact: alc.utlaw@gmail.com