Friday, May 16, 2014
Missing Women Report Released
Support overwhelming for national inquiry
Staff/Voice file photo
oday, the RCMP released their National Operational Review on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women
Responses across the country were immediate and decisively in favour of a holding a national inquiry. The Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Human Rights Commission also came out strongly today in favour of an inquiry.
Two months ago, I asked high-profile Liberal MP Stephane Dion in an interview if he supported an inquiry and his answer was a definitive yes.
Now that the report has been tabled, it remains to be seen if the federal government will call for an inquiry.
Read the RCMP introduction and download the .pdf file here.
Below is a statement from the Assembly of First Nations issued on Friday;
Assembly of First Nations Receives RCMP Report, Urges Action on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Released by the Assembly of First Nations
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief for Alberta Cameron Alexis today expressed the urgent need for action on ending violence against Indigenous women and girls, including the importance of achieving justice for the family and friends of victims. Regional Chief Alexis's comments come after today's release of the National Operational Overview on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women report by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
"Today's RCMP report reaffirms the magnitude of the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada and clearly indicates the urgent need for action by many different players, including First Nations, governments, police services and others," said AFN Regional Chief Alexis, who leads the AFN work in the area of justice and policing.
The report released by the RCMP in Winnipeg this morning identified that Indigenous women are much more susceptible to violence than other women in Canada.
The report says that 1,017 Aboriginal women were murdered from 1980 to 2012, and that another 164 of them had gone missing, and that Aboriginal women represented 16 per cent of all female victims of homicide in Canada during the period studied.
"A national shame and a national tragedy, Indigenous women are vastly over-represented in the numbers of missing and murdered women and girls," said Regional Chief Alexis. "We are demanding immediate action based on these concrete facts and numbers so that not one more woman or girl is victimized and that no family member has to spend another day without answers. Ending violence against Indigenous women is an urgent priority for First Nations across the country and today's report should compel all Canadians and the federal government to support immediate action. The AFN continues the call for a coordinated National Action Plan, including a National Public Commission of Inquiry, as well as immediate direct investments in shelters and preventative support measures to keep the most vulnerable of our citizens safe and secure."
The report comes just days after First Nations women and supporters gathered on Parliament Hill for a 24-hour ceremony honouring victims of violence, and the release of a report from United Nations Special Rapporteur James Anaya supporting a National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous women.
"While there have been many reports and findings to date, a National Public Commission of Inquiry would demand immediate action, build on existing data and address the reasons why existing recommendations haven't been already implemented," said Regional Chief Alexis, adding that an Inquiry is critical for accountability and to achieve real change. "In order to be effective, a National Inquiry must be grounded in a strong actionable national strategy and plan for implementation and be fully inclusive of the voices of Indigenous communities and the families of murdered and missing women."
Given the urgency and demand for immediate action to end violence against Indigenous women and girls, AFN continues the call for action in priority areas:
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
RCMP report points to urgent need for national inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women
Released by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission
he findings of the RCMP's National Operational Overview on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women released today reinforce the urgent need for a national inquiry into the matter.
As the RCMP acknowledge in their report, violence against Aboriginal women and girls is a complex issue that extends beyond law enforcement and requires concerted action at all levels of government.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission believes a national inquiry, in partnership with Aboriginal peoples, is needed to better understand this complexity and develop consensus on solutions. This was among the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The call for a national action plan and an independent national inquiry is supported by the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies, Canada's territorial and provincial premiers, as well as many Aboriginal groups.
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