The government of Nova Scotia has committed to support families through the “emotional challenges expected” when the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls attends the province next month beginning Oct. 30.
Justice Minister Mark Furey said the inquiry event “will be painful” for many Indigenous families in the province.
“The federal government and Nova Scotia are doing everything we can to ensure Indigenous women and their families are kept informed and supported through what we know will be a difficult time.”
Working in partnership with the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association and the federal government, three community outreach specialists, experienced in dealing with trauma, have been hired. They will provide cultural support to families and community members until March 31, 2019.
The positions are funded by the federal government and co-ordinated through the province’s Family Information Liaison Unit within the Department of Justice’s Victim Services.
“During the inquiry, it is integral that families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls are supported in finding information about their loved ones,” said Jody Wilson-Raybould, federal minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
Cheryl Maloney, president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, said she was “very pleased that the province of Nova Scotia has listened and worked with us to provide culturally appropriate and culturally delivered services for families and communities of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
“We have an established relationship with communities and families and the liaison unit is a welcome addition,” said Maloney.
“The liaison team has been very supportive to our family,” said Vanessa Brooks, whose sister Tanya was killed in 2009. “I feel they were very much an essential part throughout this process of bringing our sister’s last remains home, and being able to finally lay her to rest after eight long and painful unanswered years. I only wish my mother was alive today to see this amazing team.”
For more information on the work of the Family Information Liaison Unit, visit:https://novascotia.ca/just/victim_Services/.