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After a week in Winnipeg, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will head to the Maritimes for the final public hearing that will gather evidence from Knowledge Keepers, experts, and institutional representatives.

Later this month, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the inquiry will hold a hearing on sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

This past week in Winnipeg, at the Fort Garry Hotel, the focus was on child welfare and family violence.

Dr. Allan Wade is a family therapist who spoke at the hearing as an expert. On Friday, he advocated long-term funding for Indigenous women’s organizations, mandatory in-community training of understanding colonial violence for people in a variety of jobs, and he says we need to re-think the language we use.

"Concepts that have been taken for granted for many years need to be re-examined; vulnerability is one of them, the notion that women don't have boundaries or choose abusive men, or that women learn to be helpless, you know, these notions have been used to blame and deny victims' ongoing resistance to violence for many, many years, so we need to re-think those things and work a lot harder to be accurate," said Dr. Wade in an interview after the hearing.

Carol Martin works in downtown Vancouver’s East Side. She spoke during cross-examination of Dr. Wade; Martin praised Dr. Wade's presentation, and said in an interview afterwards she hopes everybody out there listened to his testimony.

Martin says Indigenous women and children have become an industry.

"The value of us is only put on us when they say they're going to help us or do work with us or if we're dead... and then all of a sudden everybody's involved in it," she said.

After the hearings, MMIWG commissioners and staff will review and analyze the evidence collected. The inquiry will conclude its research on December 31st, and will submit its final report April 30th, 2019.

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