Inquiry into missing indigenous women

The first phase involves consulting with victims’ families and Aboriginal leaders.

Canada’s Liberal government launched a national inquiry into missing and murdered First Nations women on Dec. 8.

The first phase involves consulting with victims’ families and Aboriginal leaders.

The government has reportedly pledged $40 million over two years for the initiative.

Activist and Highway of Tears film director Matt Smiley said he is overjoyed by the news.

Smiley’s award-winning documentary, which was screened on the West Coast in August, heavily advocated for a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered First Nations women.

“I think we can kind of look towards the bright future,” Smiley told the Westerly News from his home in L.A.

“These cases will be heavily investigated, studied over, and most likely some families will at least get the justice that they’ve been seeking.”

Shortly after the Liberals won a majority government, Smiley said he was contacted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office to help connect federal staff with the victims’ families that he had met while making Highway of Tears and screening it across Canada.

“Within hours they were literally already on the job,” he said.

“I was floored by how quickly their turn around time was. I’m touched that they’ve reached out to me and are including me in these processes and linking them in with families.”

When the Montreal-born director started filming Highway of Tears in 2012 he had no idea his efforts would help spawn such a historical government led program.

“I went into this very blindly. I think I went into it with a lot of passion and not really knowing what story I was going to tell nor how it was going to be received,” he said.

“I don’t feel alone in pushing for it anymore. It was a fairly individual effort, of course with the help and support of all the family members, but to know that all the various levels of government are now on it, it’s very comforting. I can ease off the gas pedal. My job in terms of picketing is done.”

The Westerly reached out to Carol Martin Young for comments, but was unable to connect with her before press time. Carol Young is the aunt of 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young, who went missing from Nanaimo on June 30, 2002.

nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

 

Just Posted

120 West Coast kids rock Bruhwiler Surf Classic in Tofino

“Surfing is a gift of this place.”

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Vancouver Island partners sign hull design contract for floating LNG project

Steelhead LNG and partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations say the agreement was signed in Barcelona

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Landslide forces evacuations of Philippine villages

More than 1,200 people in villages near the landslide-hit area were forcibly moved by authorities

Students asked about the positive effects of residential schools

Alberta’s education minister apologized after hearing about the online social studies course

Permit to give B.C. deer birth control on hold until consultation with First Nations

Complexity of consultation will depend on level of First Nations support for the project

Feds launching review of oil tanker traffic in bid to renew pipeline approval

The feds have ordered the National Energy Board to bring recommendations on whether pipeline expansion should proceed

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

Most Read