Group starts dragging of river in search of missing Native women

CBC News reporter Jillian Taylor posted this picture of Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs taking part in the Drag the Red River initiative in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Photo from Jillian Taylor / Twitter

A group called Drag the Red began a search of the Red River in Winnipeg, Manitoba, today.

The group is looking for clues about missing and murdered Native girls and women. The body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was found in the river in August, triggering more requests for a national inquiry into the issue.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly rejected the requests. So volunteers say they must take matters into their own hands.

“It’s going to have to be us who do this,” Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, who joined the search today, told The Globe and Mail. “No one else will.”

The Canadian government said it will spend $25 million over five years to address violence in Native communities. But opposition leaders said the inquiry was a higher priority item and advocates noted that many Native women went missing or were murdered in urban areas.

"It feels to me like it’s really laying the blame on the aboriginal community and completely ignoring stranger violence. Yes, there is violence going on in our communities and on reserves, but also many of the women who are killed or who go missing, go missing in big cities," Audrey Huntley, a co-founder of No More Silence, told CBC News.

Get the Story:
Unknown bones found on Red River banks as search prepares for missing women (The Globe and Mail 9/17)
Group searches Red River for clues on missing, murdered indigenous women (CTV 9/17)
Search of Red River for missing, murdered women underway (CBC 9/17)
Assembly of First Nations says its proposals on missing women 'tossed aside' by Ottawa (CBC 9/17)
Walking With Our Sisters comes to Thunder Bay Art Gallery (CBC 9/17)
Tories table plan to stop violence against aboriginal women and girls (CBC 9/15)

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Authorities in Manitoba probe murder of 15-year-old Native girl (08/18)
Native Sun News: Site documents missing and murdered women (07/30)
Editorial: Take action for missing and murdered Native women (05/23)
RCMP cites high number of missing and murdered Native women (5/19)

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