After years of requests and delays, the federal government has released new details for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
For five years, Carol Wolfe searched for her 20-year-old daughter, Karina.
The search ended on Nov. 14, 2015 when Saskatoon police recovered her remains.
“I realize that we need to stop the violence against women and we need to protect our daughters so that they’re not pain,” Wolfe said.
For Pauline Okemow, her voice will finally be heard after nearly three decades.
“I’m happy it’s happening because in 1989, my younger sister was murdered in Prince Albert at 16-years-old,” Okemow said.
For the surviving family members of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls in Canada, time doesn’t heal everything.
They are still suffering, grieving and some are still looking.
On Wednesday, those families had some of their hope renewed that this will not happen to others, as the terms of a national inquiry into this tragedy were unveiled and set to launch Sept. 1.
“The national inquiry will focus on the root causes of the disproportionate rate of violence of crimes against indigenous women and girls,” said federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Nearly $54 million has been set aside for the inquiry, which is set to run for two years, ending Dec. 31, 2018.
“Through this my hopes are that we can come up with some concentrate recommendations that are going to make real change for the society for all of us,” said vice-chief Heather Bear, with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN).
Bear said it’s still unclear how many Saskatchewan families will be asked to take part.
And while the inquiry won’t bring back loved ones, she hopes and prays that it will end the violence against women and girls because of the colour of their skin and who they are.
She also issued a warning in the meantime.
“I also want to give a message to the young girls out there to be careful, to be alert, that you know it’s not a safe community yet,” Bear said.
Five commissioners, including Marilyn Poitras from the University of Saskatchewan, will be responsible for carrying out the inquiry.
They will have the power on who they see fit to be called as witnesses, including police.
Meaghan Craig contributed to this story