February 14, 2018 7:58 am
Updated: February 14, 2018 5:10 pm

MMIWG inquiry hears from family members and survivors in Moncton for second day

WATCH: There was more emotional testimony shared on Wednesday, as a two-day hearing of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls continued in Moncton. Morganne Campbell has more.


There was more emotional testimony shared on Wednesday, as a two-day hearing of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls continued in Moncton.

The family of an Aboriginal woman from Prince Edward Island who died a suspicious death says they want people to know her life mattered.

Relatives of Mary Francis Paul told the inquiry they know few details about Paul’s death and want to know if police investigated.

READ: MMIWG inquiry begins two-day community hearing in Moncton

Barbara Bernard says her mother, from Scotchfort, P.E.I., was a heavy drinker when she went out with friends but always returned home and cared for her family.

However Bernard says one night her mother didn’t return, and she learned days later she had been found dead near the water with a broken neck.

Bernard says she only discovered 12 years later that the death may have been suspicious, and the body had been in a metal bin, but never learned more from police.

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On Tuesday, the mother of Hilary Bonnell addressed the hearing and called for stiffer sentences and tougher laws for someone who commits murder.

Pam Filier’s 16-year-old daughter was found dead in 2009, two months after she vanished from the Esgenoopetitj First Nation in northern New Brunswick. Bonnell’s cousin would later be convicted of first-degree murder.

In total, commissioner Michèle Audette is scheduled to hear from about 20 family members and survivors.

The federal government has earmarked two years and $53.8 million for the study, aimed at examining root causes of violence toward Indigenous women and girls.

A final report is due at the end of 2018.

With files from The Canadian Press

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