Diane BigEagle said she started a class-action lawsuit for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women because she was desperate for answers.
BigEagle's daughter, Danita Faith BigEagle, has been missing since 2007.
"It's something I just can't put away. I've got to have some kind of closure," said BigEagle.
BigEagle has said the lawsuit is not about the money. She's looking for closure, and compensation would go toward helping her daughter's children, for whom she is the caretaker.
"It's just something that I have to do. And I'm not the only one."
For years, she has advocated for her daughter's story and for others facing a similar loss. BigEagle said other families who have lost loved ones are left heartbroken to the point where it takes over their lives.
On Monday, a Federal Court certification hearing began in Regina for the proposed class-action lawsuit against the federal government and RCMP.
About 60 families involved in the suit are alleging they have been wronged by the way the RCMP handled the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls.
The proposed suit alleges systemic negligence.
Feds oppose certification
Speaking before the hearing started, Tony Merchant of the Merchant Law Group said he remains surprised the federal government is fighting against the lawsuit.
"It's really inappropriate for the government to oppose certification," he said.
Merchant has said the opposition to the suit seems to contradict the recommendations laid out in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
BigEagle said she remains hopeful for a successful outcome.
"I hope they see what our concerns [are] and are sympathetic to what's been happening to us, myself, our families, all the families across Canada."
In a statement to CBC News, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the Government of Canada is opposing the class-action certification for legal reasons.
"It is unprecedented in its breadth, is inconsistent with previous rulings surrounding private duty of care, and contains cases where the RCMP is not the police of jurisdiction," he said.
BigEagle said the police never helped her in her search for her daughter. She's still looking for accountability.
"They never did nothing for us," she said.
"All they do is talk and then all of a sudden they show a picture of Danita and other family members. What is that going to do? What are they going to help us like? Like really help us? Come and search or at least tell us we don't know where she is or we can't help you. I think I'd rather hear that than be ignored."
The Regina Police Service cold case unit is now handling the missing person's case of Danita Faith BigEagle. However, the RCMP were previously involved. Diane BigEagle says she has met with the RCMP more than 50 times over the years — but says officers never took notes and did not pay attention.
BigEagle said the national inquiry has done little to help.
The final report made 231 recommendations, termed "calls for justice," in response to what it called a "Canadian genocide" spurred by "state actions and inaction rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies."
"This is a circumstance where they haven't done anything. The government said that they accepted the [MMIWG] inquiry report, but nothing has happened," he said.
The proposed class-action suit is seeking $500 million in damages and $100 million in punitive damages.
The hearing is expected to last five days. Justice Glennys McVeigh, who is originally from Saskatchewan, flew from Ottawa to oversee the proceedings. The primary lawyer for the Crown is Christine Ashcroft.