An Iqaluit woman is furious after national inquiry staff suddenly cancelled her mother’s trip to Yellowknife this week – without telling her.
“She said, ‘Janet, I feel so ashamed. It’s just like when I was in residential school,’” Janet Brewster said in a telephone interview from Iqaluit about her mother Betty Brewster.
Betty was scheduled to help her sister Kathy Meyer testify about her missing daughter Angela Meyer, 22, on Tuesday.
She said Betty was “embarrassed” when First Air sent her home from the Iqaluit airport Tuesday saying there was no ticket for her.
There had been a ticket for the 70-year-old, but bad weather cancelled the initial flight Sunday to Yellowknife for the public hearings of the National Inquiry in Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Bad weather hit the Nunavut capital again on Monday and Brewster couldn’t get off the ground.
Someone from the inquiry then cancelled the ticket Tuesday, Janet said, without informing the family.
An inquiry spokesperson said a staff member made a decision about travel based on problems with the weather and the fact Meyer’s testimony would have been completed Tuesday before Betty could arrive.
Meyer said she has spoken to her sister by phone and, at this time, it was a problem they were unable to process after the high emotion of Tuesday.
“She is an elder with a bad back and stress makes the pain worse. But she wants to come and I’m still hoping they’ll get her here,” said Meyer.
See more from the final day of the national inquiry hearings in Yellowknife
Janet wanted more, saying her mother deserved an explanation and even an apology.
“I can’t even explain how it feels to see my mom go through that,” she said, noting an inquiry employee contacted her Wednesday after she complained about what happened on social media.
“I know to some people it’s just a cancelled flight. But we opened our minds and bodies into going there and being part of that process,” said Janet.