The head of the international organization that hired Ottawa to provide advice on how to identify the remains that may have remained in the unmarked graves of the former boarding house said Wednesday that the work will continue. I said we should give it a chance.
The federal government’s decision to have the Netherlands-based International Commission on Missing Persons work with indigenous communities appears to duplicate work already being done by indigenous experts for the $2 million contract. I faced concerns such as looking like
The organization’s executive director, Kathryne Bomberger, says it’s just the beginning and will adjust to the timeline set in the recently announced technical agreement.
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“It took us a very long time to get there,” she said in an interview. … We need to give this a chance.”
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Bomberger said the group was first contacted by members of a Cree community two years ago, and it also spoke with northern Manitoba NDP MP Niki Ashton, who called for the commission`s involvement.
From there, she said the organization worked through the foreign service and ultimately submitted a proposal to Ottawa.
Bomberger said Wednesday that the commission relies on government funding to be able to do its work, and it plans to travel to Canada with a team of experts on DNA, excavations and data systems.
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Their intention is to provide communities with options on how to identify the possible remains of Indigenous children who are believed to be buried in unmarked gravesites, and compile what they hear into a report to federal officials, she said.
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“I`m optimistic that we can provide options that maybe have not really been thought about,” she added. The story continues under the ad
But Kimberly Murray, whom the federal government appointed last year as an independent official to advise on unmarked graves and help communities, is concerned that the commission is not Indigenous-led. I am also worried about how involved I will be in future work.
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