(Holly Jarrett, cousin of Loretta Saunders, who was murdered in Feb., 2014, arrives at a downtown hotel in Ottawa for meeting with ministers)
APTN National News
OTTAWA — Morning rush hour in downtown Ottawa was just picking up steam when Sue Martin approached the hotel where the Royal Commission into the causes of the staggering number of Indigenous women who have vanished or murdered was starting.
Martin, whose daughter was murdered 13-years ago has been holding vigil on Victoria Island,which sits in the Ottawa river under the shadow of the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill.
She is just one of the family members meeting today in Ottawa to kick start what some say, is a long overdue inquiry.
“I’m feeling good, positive that the family members are, their voices are gonna be heard and i”m hoping that they listen to us, instead of pushing us aside like they have for many many years, so I’m going in there positive,” said Martin.
The inquiry, or royal commission as it’s also known, was called Tuesday in Ottawa. It will be led by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Status of Women Minister Patricia Hajdu and Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett.
According to the ministers, it is being broken into two phases. Phase one will involved consultation with families, municipalities, provinces, territories and other stakeholders who will advise the government on the scope of the Inquiry and who should sit as commissioner.
All three ministers met with families Friday morning in Ottawa.
Bennett told APTN’s Nation to Nation that the meeting will take all day and start with an elder.
“There will be opening remarks, a plenary, a feast and then we will break into smaller groups where we can listen to the families and discuss the things that are important to them,” said Bennett.
more to come …