Minister Monsef, the most haunting statement I heard from the witnesses yesterday was from Lorraine Whitman, an elder with the Glooscap First Nation in Nova Scotia, and president of the Native Women's Association of Canada. Essentially she said that the indigenous community is hurt because they made themselves vulnerable by telling their stories in good faith that the government was going to follow through with their promise of action on the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, but didn't. There's deep disappointment.
It's simply wrong to toy with people's pain and make them relive their trauma over and over as they retell their story, and then crush their hope by not following through. This is another barrier that brings us backward in the process of reconciliation. Indigenous communities already struggle with hope. We see it in the high cases of youth suicide.
The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was meant to be released in June, and the government has used COVID an an excuse to delay the release. What is the government's plan if we get a second wave? This is a matter of justice, restoring trust and being serious about reconciliation. When can these communities expect the final report?