'3 days turned into 33 years of waiting:' Brother gets last-minute chance to testify at MMIWG inquiry

One Kawacatoose First Nation man got a call this week from the MMIWG inquiry informing him there was a spot open Thursday morning for him to testify.

Kawacatoose First Nation man on wait-list got call this week to testify in Saskatoon

Gary Favel got a call this week from the MMIWG inquiry informing him there was a spot open Thursday morning for him to testify. (Nic Meloney/CBC)

For some family members at the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, taking all the required steps to testify just wasn't enough.

The hearings that took place this week in Saskatoon had more family testimony requests than anticipated, and that forced some family members to go on a wait list.

One Kawacatoose First Nation man got a call this week from the MMIWG inquiry informing him there was a spot open Thursday morning for him to testify.

Gary Favel's sister Patricia Favel went missing in Regina in 1984.

"[Police] told me to wait three days, and three days turned into 33 years of waiting," he said. 

"Nobody knows how I feel. No one knows exactly ... what I go through on a daily basis."  

Travelling on short notice

Favel got a chance to share his story in a private session with a statement taker and a commissioner but the short notice made it challenging.

Favel said when he arrived there was a hotel room for him, however the transportation from his reserve to Saskatoon was something he had to organize himself.

Kawacatoose First Nation is approximately 200 kilometres from Saskatoon.

The chief and council were able to help out financially but Favel feels that transportation costs should be the inquiry's responsibility, especially for those on a wait-list.

He also said more information needs to be provided to the families.

"I still don't know what's going on," he said.

"Is this the end of it? ... Are there going to be any more meetings?"

'I want to talk'

​Regina resident Krista Shore also arrived at the hearings in hopes of telling her story. 

Shore's mother, Barbara Ann Shore, was murdered in Regina in 1996.

"I want to talk about the things that I've witnessed and seen as a young girl," she said.

In an interview with CBC News, she said that although she contacted the inquiry, she was never given a time to testify.

Some families had to go on a wait list at the MMIWG hearings in Saskatoon 1:24

Shore said the need to tell the story goes far beyond the circumstances of her mother's murder and she wants to share those truths.

"I deserve to be heard ... I will not leave until they hear me and give me that honour."

The MMIWG hearings in Saskatoon were scheduled to wrap up Thursday at 5 p.m. CST.

About the Author

Brad Bellegarde

Reporter for CBC Indigenous based in Saskatchewan

Born and raised in Treaty 4 Territory, he holds an Indian Communication Arts Certificate from the First Nations University of Canada and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Regina. Follow him on Twitter @BBellegardeCBC

with files from CBC's Olivia Stefanovich