Canada | Opinion

Column: Canadian government failing to protect Native women

"Three days before the House of Commons rose for its Christmas recess, a parliamentary committee quietly tabled a shocking report.

It was called Ending Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls. But it wasn’t a plan of action. It wasn’t even a commitment to do better. It was a self-congratulatory compendium of existing programs.

Only one MP, 22-year-old New Democrat Mylène Freeman, cared enough to speak out. “This report does not really broach the subject of violence,” she said. “It offers no recommendations whatsoever and does not acknowledge the humanitarian crisis facing aboriginal women.”

The rookie parliamentarian spoke more in sadness than in anger.

It was left to Amnesty International to supply the outrage. The human rights group has been fighting to protect Canada’s indigenous women — who are victims of violent crime four times as often as non-aboriginal women — since 2004. “This represents a troubling and regrettable step backward,” said Alex Neve, secretary-general of the human rights organization."

Get the Story:
Carol Goar: Parliament fails native women (The Toronto Star 1/4)

Join the Conversation