MMIWG inquiry makes changes to accommodate more families on third day of hearings in Winnipeg
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls made changes on the third day of hearings in Winnipeg to allow more families in Manitoba to tell their stories of loss.
120 Manitoba families have registered to give testimony to the inquiry.
The inquiry said it will now travel to Norway House for statement gathering from November 7 to 9.
On Wednesday, an appearance by the Bear Clan Patrol was also cancelled to allow more time for families to tell their stories.
While an interim report is expected Nov. 1, the inquiry has only held hearings so far in three communities across Canada: Whitehorse, Smithers B.C., and Winnipeg.
Marion Buller, chief commissioner, said the upcoming report will be a mix of good and bad news, provide an update on what has come out so far and what the inquiry's research has uncovered, and give a few recommendations.
Horrific testimony on day three
There was tense and horrific testimony from families on the third day of hearings in Winnipeg.
Fallon Farinacci travelled from Ontario to talk about killing of her parents, Sherry and Maurice Paul. They were both shot in 1993. They lived on the outskirts of St. Eustache, north of Elie.
Farinacci was only nine years old at the time, and was inside the house during the final moments of her parents’ lives.
There was also testimony from the family of Kimberly Clarke. The 36-year-old mom of three was killed in 1998 after attending a party in Winnipeg. Her body was found in the Red River near the Redwood Bridge. The autopsy revealed she had been sexually assaulted and beaten. A 19-year-old man was charged with first degree murder at the time. Relatives talked about their frustration over the man getting his education behind bars, while the Clarke family struggled.
"She was not a street person. She was missing and she was murdered. This is extremely emotionally and physically draining for me as when it had happened. It was horrific and I try not to dwell on it. It's like trying to get out of a dark deep pit. My family suffered great trauma, heartbreak, sorrow, shock, loss, disbelief, loneliness, emptiness, pain, depression, anxiety, nightmares, terror and fear, and rage,” Darlene Clarke, Kimberly’s only sister told the inquiry.
“I really hope that through this process of recommendations that organizations, agencies and governments follow through with the recommendation that come out of this inquiry be applied. Many times I see in research in policies and guidelines, it's about writing the document, but nothing is actually being pushed forward or addressed and applied," said Courtney Bear, Kimberly’s niece.
Michael Champagne with Aboriginal Youth opportunities told CTV News he would like see more men attending the hearings.
Indigenous advocate Leah Gazan said people have been struggling to make the trip, having to come up with the money to travel and stay here.
Indigenous community group Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata got help for that Wednesday. A $10,000 anonymous donation was made to help families with meals and transportation.
The inquiry told CTV News it’s not allowed to accept donations.