The following are the commissioners expected to be named to the inquiry into Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women:
The former president of the Native Women's Association of Canada is a well-known, long-standing champion of the issue of Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women. Michèle Audette, an Innu francophone, stepped down from NWAC in 2015 to run for the Liberal nomination in a Quebec riding ahead of last fall's federal election. She lost and went on to work as a consultant for the Innu Nation. Ms. Audette previously led NWAC's Quebec chapter and served as the associate deputy minister in the province's Status of Women Ministry. Ms. Audette – born to an indigenous woman who married a non-indigenous man and, in turn, lost her status under a since-amended portion of the Indian Act – has also made gender discrimination a priority in her advocacy work.
Appointed to British Columbia's Provincial Court in 1994, Marion Buller became the province's first female First Nations judge. About a decade ago, she launched B.C.'s first court dedicated to restorative justice for sentencing on criminal and family court matters, according to the Kamloops Daily News. Justice Buller served as commission counsel to the 1993 Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry, which probed the relationship between the people of the Cariboo-Chilcotin area and the justice system. Justice Buller, who is a member of Saskatchewan's Mistawasis First Nation, has worked as a civil and criminal lawyer, served as president of Canada's Indigenous Bar Association and has been a member of the B.C. Police Commission, according to the University of Victoria website describing its high-profile graduates.
Ontario-based First Nations lawyer Brian Eyolfson has experience as an adjudicator in the areas of human rights, privacy and Indian residential schools. According to an online directory of Canadian lawyers, he has more than two decades of law experience in Ontario. Mr. Eyolfson has worked for Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and represented that group at the Ipperwash inquiry, which examined the 1995 shooting death of native activist Dudley George. He has also served as vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Marilyn Poitras is a University of Saskatchewan professor who specializes in constitutional and indigenous law. A Harvard Law School graduate, she has worked with various levels of government during her 30-year legal career. She articled with the province's Ministry of Justice and has "litigated in every level of court in Canada," according to her biography on the University of Saskatchewan's website. Ms. Poitras, who is Métis and was born in Saskatchewan, has experience in such areas as self-government, treaty implementation and elections. She sits on the board of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law and served as vice-president of indigenous governance at the University of New Brunswick's Institute on Governance.
Qajaq Robinson is a Nunavut-born civil litigation lawyer in the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. In the area of indigenous law, she focuses on treaty and land claims, the duty to consult, governance and business development. She successfully represented a complainant before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario regarding the Nepean football team's use of the name "Redskins." The matter was settled in 2014, with the club retiring its name and logo. Ms. Robinson, who is fluent in Inuktitut, graduated from Akitsiraq Law School, a University of Victoria program run out of Nunavut Arctic College. She has worked for the federal public prosecution service, clerked with judges of the Nunavut Court of Justice, articled at an Iqaluit legal aid clinic and served as a senior policy adviser to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.