Canada | Opinion

Editorial: Take action for missing and murdered Native women

RCMP Report - Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview

Newspaper calls on Canadian government to take action and address the large number of missing and murdered Native women:
Aboriginal women make up just four per cent of Canada’s female population, but they represent 16 per cent of female homicide victims and 12 per cent of missing women. The numbers, recently revealed by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, are appalling, triggering anger and concern. Why do aboriginal women face a higher risk of violence than other women? In the absence of any easy answers, there have been many calls – including one from this newspaper – for a public inquiry.

When it comes to missing and murdered aboriginal women, an inquiry would be useful in a very narrow sense. It could determine whether police negligence or misconduct played any role in generating those outrageously high numbers. It could probe whether the rate of unsolved murders of aboriginal women is, in fact, higher. (The RCMP says it isn’t.) It could examine whether the federal government and native governments are doing enough to address disproportionate levels of violence against aboriginal women. According to the RCMP, two-thirds of native women murdered since 1980 were killed by a spouse, family member or other intimate.

A public inquiry focused on the narrow topic of missing and murdered native women would be very useful. But on the broader issues underlying the much larger problem, Canadians don’t need another inquiry to understand the urgency of aboriginal peoples’ current plight. What’s really needed is action.

Get the Story:
What's really needed is action on missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada (The Globe and Mail 5/23)

Get the Report:
Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overvie (RCMP May 2014)

Related Stories:
RCMP cites high number of missing and murdered Native women (5/19)

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