Families deeply traumatized by pre-inquiry, says participant
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor
February 9, 2016
Deborah Ginnish knows the importance of having families listened to before the federal government undertakes the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
Last week, Ginnish travelled from her home on the Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia to be part of a forum conducted by the Assembly of First Nations on the Enoch Cree Nation in Alberta.
The result of that forum will be a report the AFN will present to the federal government Feb. 15 laying out the conditions that need to be met if this inquiry hopes to be successful.
But the result of that forum for Ginnish was dredging up memories that have not been laid to rest–not for her, her family or her community.
Ten years ago, Ginnish’s niece Michelle, 23, was stabbed to death by a woman on the Membertou First Nation. It was an alcohol and drug-fuelled argument that spun out of control.
“That really split the community. Even today it’s still there,” said Ginnish. “We are still grieving. That bitterness is still there. Even towards that family of that woman because it is such a close-knit community and it will never go away.”