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MMIWG inquiry to hold hearings at Membertou First Nation this week

ABOVE: The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will hold community hearings at Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton this week. Marieke Walsh explains.

A Mi’kmaq activist says it’s vital that the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and girls are shared at community hearings in Nova Scotia this week, despite the challenges the national inquiry has faced.

The president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, is among 40 witnesses expected to testify during the three-day hearings at Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton.

WATCH: Missing woman’s family says time at MMIW Inquiry cut

Missing woman’s family says time at MMIW Inquiry cut
Missing woman’s family says time at MMIW Inquiry cut

Cheryl Maloney says the stories of loss hung over Sunday’s opening ceremonies – the hearings kick off Monday.

READ MORE: Indigenous women in prison must have voice in MMIW inquiry: advocates

She says she is working to support Indigenous women and families as they prepare to share their traumatic stories with the inquiry, which has been plagued by controversy and delays.

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Maloney echoed concerns that have been raised in previous months about bureaucratic setbacks and lack of consultation with families, but says all parties involved in the inquiry must push forward out of duty to those who have been lost.

WATCH: ‘We failed’: Trudeau apologizes for Canada’s response to missing, murdered 

‘We failed’: Trudeau apologizes for Canada’s response to missing, murdered Indigenous women
‘We failed’: Trudeau apologizes for Canada’s response to missing, murdered Indigenous women

The inquiry has visited three communities across Canada prior to this week’s hearings: Whitehorse, Smithers B.C., and Winnipeg.

An interim report is set to be released on Nov. 1.

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