The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) will host a gathering for the families of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Nuu-chah-nulth territory from Sept. 12-14 at Maht Mahs Gym.
The gathering came from a request from Nuu-chah-nulth families more than a year ago.
“There was a provincial meeting that was called…healing the families of murdered and missing women in Prince George,” said Debra Foxcroft, NTC president. “That was sponsored by the province at the time and probably a dozen or more of our Nuu-chah-nulth families went to attend that and out of that gathering they came up with some recommendations.”
Foxcroft, who attended the provincial meeting, said recommendations included hosting a healing gathering in Nuu-chah-nulth territory.
“Families appreciated being there for that healing gathering provincially, but they really wanted to have their own gathering with their Nuu-chah-nulth families in our own territory where we could provide our own healing traditional ceremonies on our Nuu-chah-nulth land.” Foxcroft said.
Foxcroft spent a couple years lobbying the provincial government for funding to host a gathering in Port Alberni.
“It will be a healing ceremony that will honour the loved ones and families that were affected by the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls from our nation.
“We will be going through healing ceremonies with probably about 20 families or more,” Foxcroft said.
While in the planning stages, the NTC sent letters to the MMIWG inquiry commissioner inviting staff to attend their gathering.
“They are sending two lawyers that will be coming to take statements from the families…they’ll be able to pass this information on and their statements on to the bigger inquiry,” Foxcroft said. “There’s an opportunity for people to make their statement privately or they can do it in a bigger forum with the whole group.
“This is not the large part of the inquiry but the statements are going to be used in the bigger process.”