Premiers have long lobbied the federal government to act on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Now the president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada says it is time for them to back up their call for action with some money.

Dawn Lavell-Harvard says the roundtable on missing and murdered Indigenous women in Winnipeg is a chance for provinces to commit to help vulnerable women.

She says Canada can’t afford to wait for a national inquiry to wrap up in two years before action is taken.

Hundreds of family members, Indigenous leaders and the country’s top policy makers have gathered for the roundtable.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger says he agrees that provinces shouldn’t wait for the inquiry and they should work together now to do what they can.

Selinger says he’d like to see practical suggestions coming out of the roundtable.

He says Manitoba, for one, wants to move forward to support Aboriginal families who have lost loved ones and to make communities safer generally.

He says that should be the goal of all jurisdictions.

Selinger says he expects the federal government to work with all the provinces because they provide many of the services he is suggesting.

The roundtable began on Wednesday with closed-door sessions for families only and is now into meetings with premiers, ministers, Indigenous leaders and families.

(The Canadian Press)