Mandate of the Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools
On June 8, 2022, Kimberly Murray was appointed as Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools.
The Special Interlocutor’s mandate will be carried out over two years, from June 14, 2022, to June 13, 2024.
The Special Interlocutor will identify needed measures and make recommendations for a new federal legal framework to ensure the respectful and culturally appropriate treatment of unmarked graves and burial sites of children associated with former residential schools. This will be done in close collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, representative organizations, communities, Survivors and families, other departments of the Government of Canada, provinces and territories, and other relevant institutions such as church entities and record holders.
The Special Interlocutor will function independently and impartially, in a non-partisan and transparent manner to achieve the objectives of her mandate.
The work of the Special Interlocutor will be to:
- engage with First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, representative organizations, communities, Survivors and families to discuss issues of concern around the identification, preservation, and protection of unmarked graves and burial sites, including the potential repatriation of remains
- examine the existing federal, provincial and territorial laws, regulations, tools and practices that currently apply and have applied to protect unmarked graves and burial sites connected to former residential schools, as well as applicable Indigenous laws and protocols, in order to develop a description of the current legal framework
- identify areas of improvement in Canadian law and make recommendations for a new federal legal framework to identify, protect, and preserve unmarked burial sites connected to former residential schools and lands associated with the schools
The Special Interlocutor will deliver:
- an interim report at the end of the first year, where the Special Interlocutor will describe her work and progress to date in relation to her mandate, and
- a final report at the end of the second year, where the Special Interlocutor will share her recommendations on needed measures relating to federal laws, regulations, policies and practices surrounding unmarked graves and burial sites associated with former residential schools.
These reports will be concurrently delivered to the Minister of Justice and to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Survivors, families, leaders and communities, and to the public.
All reports will describe the engagement process, including the identification of elements that could inform future initiatives or a new approach to engagement on issues of common concern to the federal government and First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
For more detailed information on the Special Interlocutor’s mandate, including a list of specific objectives to achieve, please consult Justice Canada’s website.
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