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Sask. woman ‘looking forward to changes’ from MMIWG inquiry

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Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte is one of the many Saskatchewan women who will be in Ottawa on Monday for the presentation of the final report of the MMIWG inquiry. Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte is one of the many Saskatchewan women who will be in Ottawa for the presentation of the final report of […]


Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte is one of the many Saskatchewan women who will be in Ottawa on Monday for the presentation of the final report of the MMIWG inquiry.

Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte is one of the many Saskatchewan women who will be in Ottawa for the presentation of the final report of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry.

“My hope with the inquiry is that after people read it, they have this opportunity to really dig into all sorts of areas of the country to address and correct the historical information,” she said in an interview on Friday.

“Indigenous women get killed. They’re more prone to violence and dying of violence than the average Canadian citizen — so we’re hoping that the inquiry will provide a safe environment and society for us to live in.”

Okemaysim-Sicotte is a member of Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), a Saskatchewan-based group that came together in 2005, “out of concern for the lack of attention given to cases of missing Aboriginal women in Saskatchewan and Canada.”

During the inquiry, Okemaysim-Sicotte says she and other members of the group “went through every phase.” She says she likely completed over 1200 hours of administration work for the inquiry, on top of the regular work she was doing for Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik.

“We didn’t just go in there in November 2017 and start our hearings and public testimony in Saskatoon — we’ve been very involved especially here in Saskatchewan and in Saskatoon since 2005. So I’m just looking forward to moving on, and revealing that to the general public,” she said.

Going through the process, Okemaysim-Sicotte says it was a fast-paced emotional “roller-coaster.” As for the process itself, she says it met her expectations for the timeline and the resources the commission was given.

“Indigenous people are really exposed to the public in so many raw ways that should be private, that should be handled with respect, but it hasn’t been like that for 500 years,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to all the changes we hope will take place around the country — not just at the federal level but for each province to fall in line with the recommendations, whatever they may be when they come out.”

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