Powerful words from three university elders-in-residence speaking at a panel in Moncton at the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Dr. Judy Clark is UPEI's elder-in-residence and she first shared the story of the death of her aunt and then another where she says tragedy struck her mother and niece in the middle of the night, and while she didn't go into detail - she did want to share this portion of the story:
"There was another woman involved that did the assault, and we look at it that in our culture and in our society, three people, society let them down - especially the perpetrator" says Dr. Clark. "This was a young woman, things were overlooked and no follow-ups were done."
Imelda Perley is the elder-in-residence at UNB and she talked about how our justice system deals with cases of abuse.
"We have lawyers that will defend the abuser over the women, I've seen this more than once and I keep questioning why do we not have the same support?" asks Perley. "It's only because well, she's a drinker, she's a partier, she does drugs."
Perley says none of that attention is ever given to the abuser.
Miigam’agan, the elder at St. Thomas University who is originally from Esgenoôpetitj spoke about losing her aunt.
"People in my community feel that it wasn't accidental, but no one talks about it any further," she says.
She recalls it was in the month of November she saw tire tracks in freshly fallen snow going towards the wharf next to their community and she noticed there were none coming back.
"Her and my cousin, I guess they went over that wharf and we didn't find them until April."
The hearings are being held in Moncton on Tuesday and on Wednesday.