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Minister Carolyn Bennett (centre) with David and Laurie
“This is totally inspiring” – Carolyn Bennett, Minister of INAC

“This is totally inspiring,” said Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada in the Liberal government. She was referring to the Ayalik Fund, speaking at a fundraiser last June. The event was organized by the team brought together at INAC for the consultation process in the lead-up to the enquiry into Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women. Minister Bennett spoke to her team, thanking them for their work, and for this outreach to the Ayalik Fund. She could see the obvious connection, commenting that these men and women at INAC were taking some of the lessons they learned “on the road” over the past months, and reaching out to help a relevant project that is already doing something about the problems the enquiry seeks to address. For a short (23 seconds) clip of Minister Bennett’s remarks, click here.

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women consultation team held this event, to honour Eric and to support Inuit youth from Nunavut, on a lovely warm June afternoon, in the garden at INAC Director General Margaret Buist’s home in Ottawa. Approximately fifty people attended, INAC staff and their partners. They learned more about the work the Ayalik Fund is doing. Collectively that afternoon they donated $2000 to the cause, and signed up as supporters for the future. It was a red-letter day for the Ayalik Fund.

Minister Bennett’s words will ring in many ears for a long while to come: “This is totally inspiring.”

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Some members of the INAC team