Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo courtesy Facebook.

A Saskatchewan advocate for Indigenous women says the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is beginning to hit its stride.

There were concerns this past summer from several family members over the direction and lack of communication from the inquiry.

Marilyn Poitras, one of the inquiry’s commissioners, stepped down, citing issues with the “process designed in its current structure.”

Following the resignation, many Indigenous leaders and groups voiced their concern.

There were even some calls for the inquiry to be completely reset. At the Assembly of First Nations General Assembly in Regina in July, members voted against a motion that would see this.

Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte, the founder of Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), says in her opinion, things have calmed down since then.

“I think people are beginning to understand that the commissioners aren’t going to step down, and they have had so much progress that is unfortunately not highlighted by the media,” said Okemaysim-Sicotte.

She says the inquiry has put structures into place to ensure they remain strong, even if more people resign. The Saskatchewan advocate also wonders if the inquiry should adopt a better communications strategy to get more of the positive stories from the inquiry out to the public.

“(The inquiry) is really unfolding in a balanced and better pace than it was in May and June,” says Okemaysim-Sicotte.

Hearings just took place in Smithers, B.C., with one coming up in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The inquiry hearing for Saskatoon is scheduled to begin on November 20.