Rape, murder and harassment: Painful stories shared at MMIWG hearings in Quebec
The inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls has wrapped up its first week of testimony in Quebec.
Dozens of families travelled to the Innu community of Mani-Utenam near Sept-Iles to share their emotional stories, many opening up about allegations of rape, murder, and harassment at the hands of police.
Before the hearings got underway Friday, one woman presented commissioners with a gift of moccasins, mittens, and a baby bottle to represent the lost girls of her community.
The commission heard testimony from the mother of an Innu teenager who was kidnapped and tortured in 2011. She recounted how police dismissed the disappearance as a runaway case.
Commissioners heard from a mother whose five-year-old daughter was taken from her in the early 1080s and given to a family. That girl was raped and murdered.
There were also stories of abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest who worked on the north shore for decades.
The RCMP has identified 1,200 Indigenous victims who were killed or went missing between 1980 and 2012, but experts believe there could be many more.
One of the recommendations from the commission's interim report, released in November, is the creation of a special police squad to oversee or re-open cases.
Commissioners are asking for more time to complete their inquiry, saying government rules mean it can take up to four months to hire staff -- and longer for some contracts.
After Friday, testimony will be heard in Nunavut and Yellowknife. Hearings have also been added in Montreal sometime in the New Year.
The final report is due by Nov. 1, 2018.