Ministers hear from Saskatoon families, loved ones of missing, murdered women

By on February 11, 2016


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SASKATOON—Two federal ministers have met with family members and loved ones of missing and murdered indigenous women in Saskatoon.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says it hasn’t been easy to hear the stories, but there’s been good progress in preparing for a national inquiry into the matter.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says this is all part of a long process to ensure the inquiry is successful and results in action.

Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill has been wary about an inquiry, saying he worries it will affect the progress made on creating an action committee that would take action.

As of March 31st, 2010, there have been 582 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and 67 per cent of those are murder cases.

Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte of the group Women Walking Together says the meeting was extremely beneficial to the families.

“This is an opportunity to help that process,” she said.

Women Walking Together aims to keep the memory alive of missing or murdered indigenous women by providing moral and direct support, increasing awareness in the political forum and working with other organizations and programs that are concerned with prevention of violence against women.

Bennett said it’s important to hear from the relatives and loved ones of missing and murdered indigenous women.

“If the families feel that they’ve been properly listened to and they can see their fingerprints on the blueprint of the inquiry, we will feel we’ve done well.

“We know we won’t be able to please everybody, but they need to know they were heard.”