The Premier of Saskatchewan along with his provincial and territorial counterparts are backing a call for a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
The premiers are meeting in Ontario today where they heard from First Nations, Metis and Inuit leaders about a variety of concerns.
Brad Wall went on record last year saying he’d support an inquiry.
However today he says other provincial and territorial leaders also gave their stamp of approval to the idea.
Wall says housing and aboriginal participation in the workforce were some of the top concerns raised.
He says while the premiers are formally supporting the call for an inquiry though, the next move is up to the feds:
“Yeah it’s a federal decision at this point and so the premiers themselves, we haven’t called for the inquiry, we’ve supported the national aboriginal organizations in their call for an inquiry and that’s not a major difference because at the end of the day we want the questions asked. We also need to take action now.”
Wall says he doesn’t want to wait for a long study to happen first.
The premier says other issues raised at today’s session included education and housing.
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples has gone on record as saying more needs to be done for people living off-reserve who don’t have a place to live.
Wall claims the government already has an extensive campaign underway to increase housing availability in the province:
“We’ve got policies in place, tax-incentives for the construction of more apartments and we’re seeing some interest in that front from the private sector.”
Wall says the government has also doubled funding for habitat for humanity and is working closely with various other housing authorities.
Meantime CAP Chief Betty Ann Lavallee issued a press release late today saying she’s happy with the meeting.
Lavallee says housing for off-reserve youth has been prioritized which is important.
She says 70% of aboriginal people live off-reserve which is why action is needed.