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World opinion is against the Conservatives on missing and murdered indigenous women

Conservatives seem to be in the minority on this one. Despite over 1,200 missing or murdered women, and counting, the Harper government is increasingly in the minority opinion on the need for a national inquiry. So who’s for it? Who’s against it? As Friday’s national roundtable on murdered and missing indigenous women meets, it’s shaping up to be the […]

Conservatives seem to be in the minority on this one.

Despite over 1,200 missing or murdered women, and counting, the Harper government is increasingly in the minority opinion on the need for a national inquiry.

So who’s for it? Who’s against it? As Friday’s national roundtable on murdered and missing indigenous women meets, it’s shaping up to be the Conservatives against… the world:

 

So, who’s against an inquiry?

Here’s what Stephen Harper had to say in a December 2014 interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge:

“‘Um it, It isn’t really high on our radar, to be honest. ”  

And last summer, Harper rejected the idea that the disproportionate violence towards indigenous women has social and economic causes:

“I think we should not view this as sociological phenomenon.”

Here’s what Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch says victims’ families want:

“They do not want to wait for another study or actually even read another study.”  

MP Susan Truppe, parliamentary secretary for Status of Women, told CBC News’ Evan Solomon:

“I don’t know why” First Nations chiefs would want an inquiry.

 Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt told the Ottawa Citizen:

“I beg to differ that the federal government is the ultimate solution here. The solution is at the community level. Now, who are the chiefs and councils assembling (in their) communities to address this issue?

“Obviously, there’s a lack of respect for women and girls on reserves… So, you know, if the guys grow up believing that women have no rights, that’s how they are treated.”


And who’s for it?

Amnesty International, reaffirming their position in a new report this week:

“(We have) again drawn attention to the shocking levels of violence against indigenous women and girls in Canada, and the urgent need for a public inquiry and national action plan to address the crisis.”

The United Nations:

 “The federal government should undertake a comprehensive, nation-wide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal woman and girls, organized in consultation with indigenous peoples.” — James Anaya, the UN’s special rapporteur on indigenous rights

Countless First Nations organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations and The Native Women’s Association of Canada

“Every week now, we hear of another Aboriginal girl or woman, who has gone missing, to be found brutally murdered. This must stop!” — NWAC President Michèle Audette

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights:

(The IACHR) “strongly supports” a “nationwide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls,” in order to “fully understand” gaps in public policy, including “an analysis of deeply rooted and interrelated factors such as colonialism, racism and conditions of poverty.”

And Rinelle Harper:

“As a survivor, I respectfully challenge you all to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.” 

…Oh, and most Canadian premiers.

Here are 5 key stats about the last three decades that sum up the injustice:

  • The rate of homicide per 100,000 is 4.45 for aboriginal women compared to 0.90 for non-aboriginal women.
  • Aboriginal women account for 4.3% of the overall Canadian female population;
  • But account for 11.3% of the cases of missing women;
  • And represent 16% of female homicides.

 

Photo:  Yaokcool. Used under Creative Commons Licenses.

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