On Wednesday, August 3, the federal government officially launched an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This is a moment long in the making, and we are full of hope.

This inquiry will bring light to what is happening to Indigenous women and girls across Canada, and we are hopeful that this will help many families and communities that have been in a dark place for so long.

While we are hopeful, we recognize that those conducting this sacred work must approach it in sensitive and safe way. It will be critical to recognize the impacts of the process on family members, friends, neighbours and loved ones – they must be supported and cared for throughout the inquiry.

We see this moment as an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own role in this process. Each of us must ask, “what can I do to elevate and empower women and girls in our communities?” “What can I do to reinforce everyone’s intrinsic value and worth?” What can I do to raise up and support the families and loved ones involved?”

Answering and acting on these questions is an act of reconciliation, and this is something that all people in Canada must contribute to.

We are humbled by the courage of all of the individuals who never gave up hope. We thank all those who have made this moment a reality. We raise our hands to you.