Statement from Nahanni Fontaine on the National Inquiry on MMIWG

Today reflects the thirty-plus years of courageous and resilient work that families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls across the country have pursued in honour of their loved ones. Today marks the culmination of a long and difficult journey in gaining recognition and justice for MMIWG families' daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, cousins, lovers and friends.

This is an historic moment for Canada, and indeed, for families and communities across the country.

As we collectively embark down the path of a National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, we must be cognizant that we wouldn't be on this path if it had not been for MMIWG families’ fight and determination.

Therefore, we must always ensure that MMIWG families' needs, requirements and vision in the execution of the national inquiry be at the forefront of all activities and decisions.

It's so important for Canadians to fully appreciate and understand this may be the only opportunity some MMIWG families ever get in respect of a sense of justice and recognition for their loved ones. This National Inquiry may be the only opportunity where MMIWG families can share their loved one's story and their own personal journey as part of the official record.

Provinces and Territories have a sacred and legal obligation to fully participate and cooperate with the national inquiry while fully supporting MMIWG families.

This includes ensuring that MMIWG families get the supports, both financially and emotionally, to fully participate in all of the National Inquiry’s activities.

It is also the duty of Manitoba, and our Premier, to appropriately fund and fully cooperate with the mandate of the National Inquiry in every way possible.

As someone who has worked on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls for the last eighteen years, I recognize this as an important moment in our collective history to create real and tangible change in the lives of Indigenous women and girls.

My own personal commitment to MMIWG families and the issue remains ever steadfast and I offer my full support and expertise to the Commissioners, and more importantly, to the hundreds of MMIWG families across the country.