The Canadian Government has launched a long-awaited national inquiry into the murder or disappearance of hundreds of Indigenous women.
It's an undertaking by new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who promised to renew the country's relationship with their Indigenous people.
Trudeau’s announcement sparked a standing ovation.
“This will be the creation of a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
This from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the first ever to address the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs gathering in Québec this week.
The investigation will look into the 1200 indigenous women and girls who've been affected in this way over the past three decades.
The national chief is optimistic.
For years, activists, Aboriginal leadership and many victims' families have been calling for a national inquiry which began with the loved ones of the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton.
The mother of one of the Pickton's victims says, “I'm still fighting for my daughter, justice for my daughter after 19 years through the Oppal Inquiry, so it's been a long, long road, and I'm so happy that this day has come.”
Some affected families have mixed emotions, like Sue Caribou, the aunt of missing girl Tanya Nepinak.
Caribou says, “I'm hoping that they make a difference and they keep their promises.”
Over the next two months, the Government will consult the victims' families and Aboriginal leaders to discuss the parameters of the investigation and will set up a website so families and Canadians can keep track of the inquiry.
Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould says, “No inquiry can undo what happened nor can it restore what was lost, but it can help us find a way forward.”
Prime Minister Trudeau says, “The victims deserve justice, their families an opportunity to heal and to be heard. We must work together to put an end to this ongoing tragedy.”
The second phase of a national inquiry will be expected to be announced in spring next year.