Neil Edmondson @NeilJEdmondson
"Aboriginal women may well be paying the price for leniency with violent aboriginal offenders"
Imagine having a baby, knowing that the infant is seven times more likely to be the victim of a violent murder than the average Canadian newborn. That’s been the tragic reality of aboriginal girls in our country, as painted by Statistics Canada over the years.
Last week, the RCMP revealed that the situation is far worse than feared – by the force’s count, the number of police-reported missing and murdered aboriginal women is double what was previously thought. This comprehensive RCMP study surveyed police forces across Canada. It found that between 1980 and 2012, there were 1,181 missing and murdered aboriginal females (164 are missing, 1,017 were homicide victims); 225 of these cases remain unsolved.
To put these figures in context, while aboriginal women represent just 4.3 per cent of the female population in Canada, they account for 11.3 per cent of the total number of missing women. Even more alarming, the RCMP found that 16 per cent of all homicides in Canada are perpetrated against aboriginal females – a “significant overrepresentation.” While total homicide rates have been declining in recent decades, the trend for aboriginal women is not so good.
For aboriginal women, an inquiry is the quickest route to the slowest response - The Globe and Mail