By: The Hon. Michèle Audette

Share this post:

Hon. Michèle Audette: Your Honour, Senator Cordy and Anishinaabe people, I am speaking to you.

[Editor’s Note: Senator Audette spoke in an Indigenous language.]

Esteemed colleagues, I would like to share with you some information and an important message about the resolve and dedication of families and individuals in Quebec communities who have worked hard for years to find out what happened to their children when they were hospitalized. We are talking about missing or deceased babies who never came home.

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Quebec, was able to hear from families from Atikamekw, Innu, Anishinaabe and other nations in the course of its inquiries. They talked about losing a baby following hospitalization between 1950 and 1980.

Imagine if it were your child, in 2023. It would be a scandal. What is even more upsetting is that these families were asked if they knew where their child was buried. They do not know. Grief contends with doubt. Again, if it were my child, I would want to know why they died and where they are.

Call for Justice 20 gave the Government of Quebec an important mandate to introduce a bill, which has since become law. The families know how their babies died and where they are buried, and that is important. We’re talking about 120 little beings of light who never returned home after the hospitalizations. My colleagues can appreciate why I care so deeply about commissions of inquiry, regardless of the subject.

I want to say thank you to the Atikamekw, Anishinabek and Innu families, as well as all other First Nations families, for their courage and for their word, which has become part of Canada’s truth. I also thank the people from Quebec and Canada who work to share information with everyone who is looking for answers.

Most importantly, colleagues, I want to tell you that this is just the beginning of a truth that has been hidden for too long. Tshinashkumitin.

Share this post: