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Nahanni Fontaine, MLA St. Johns
October 24, 2017

Families Participate in MMIWG National Inquiry

Last week the member for Point Douglas (Mrs. Smith) and myself sat through testimonies at the national inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. We supported in awe and wept alongside as the Houle, McIvor, Daniels, Catcheway, Cook, McPherson and countless other families offered Canadians, in both grace and dignity, song, narratives, teachings and visual testimony in honour of their loved ones.

There are no words to impart the level of determination, courage, resiliency, strength and love MMIWG families members have for their loved ones. We witnessed the meticulous care shown MMIWG families by elders and helpers like Thelma, Leslie, Sheryl, Belinda, Bernie, Velma, Mary, Angie, Karen, Sandra, Brenda and 'Hilden', just to–Hilda, just to name a few.

We acknowledge the humble support of Regional Chief Kevin Hart and Elder Stan LaPierre, who didn't appropriate families' or indigenous women's voices or space, but, rather, offered protective space in the back of families and women.

We appreciate the dedication shown by Commissioner Michèle Audette, who sat with families in both public and private testimonies. We acknowledge the national inquiry staff.

There had been much commentary, both positive and negative, in respect of the national inquiry on a range of issues. This is families' only opportunity to have their loved ones' disappearance or murder documented in the official Canadian record and demands that we go above and beyond in ensuring the best possible processes and recommendations.

The member for Point Douglas and I will continue to work for MMIWG families and command justice for their loved ones. We send our immense love to MMIWG families across the country.