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2014-05-16 at 16:20

Inquiry needed

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
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THUNDER BAY – First Nations leaders say the latest report detailing the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women show a federal inquiry is desperately needed.

Between 1980 and 2012 there were 1,181 cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women in Canada, the RCMP disclosed when they released the “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview” report in Winnipeg on Friday.

That effectively doubles the number of cases over the past 30 years from what was previously believed at this time one year ago.
The RCMP says it is time to develop strategies overseeing prevention, intervention and enforcement to curb the disturbing trend.

"We still have a lot of unanswered questions ... but I think this research project, this operational overview, is an excellent first step in that direction from a policing community," Janice Armstrong, the RCMP's deputy commissioner for contract and aboriginal policing, said at the news conference in Winnipeg.

"It's my hope ... that it will contribute to that larger Canadian conversation."

The 22-page report is the most comprehensive study conducted on the issue, with the national police force consulting nearly 300 other law enforcement agencies across the country.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation deputy grand chief Alvin Fiddler said the findings, which come on the heels of a report released by United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people James Anaya that warns of a state of crisis, will make it harder for the federal government to continue resisting calls for an inquiry.

“I think the next logical step would be for the government to call for an inquiry to find out how this all happened,” Fiddler said. “I think it’s getting more and more difficult for this government to not have an inquiry.”

The report found there were 1,017 murdered Aboriginal women during the more than 30 year time period, representing 16 per cent of female homicides.

The 2011 National Household Survey found that Aboriginal women represented 4.3 per cent of the national female total.

In Ontario there were 114 cases of murdered Aboriginal women from 1980-2012, which represents six per cent of all female murder cases in the province during that time frame. Aboriginal women compose 2.4 per cent of Ontario’s female population.

Even though he admits the sheer numbers are staggering, Fiddler wants to keep focus on the human nature of the women and the families left behind.

“What’s important for all of us to realize is the numbers the report outlined aren’t just numbers,” Fiddler said. “We need to always be mindful they represent human lives and they represent families that are still trying to find some answers.”

The RCMP says they have 120 unsolved homicide cases involving Aboriginal women, as well as another 105 cases of missing Aboriginal women are missing under suspicious circumstances.

Ontario Native Women’s Association president Dr. Dawn Harvard said the RCMP report was able to discover cases women’s organizations across the country were not able to find when trying to determine the number.

The study did find the solve rate of murder cases for Aboriginal women mirrors that of non-Aboriginal women, with close to 90 per cent of cases for each being cleared.

-- With files from The Canadian Press

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Comments

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tired says:
I think that the cost to taxpayers to have an inquiry into this will not be worth the results. Likely Millions spent to be told a high risk lifestyle is more likely to increase the chances of violent encounters in ones life. A change is needed, but it is a matter of personal choices and taking ownership of said choices. I don't think it is fair to make it societies responsibility to fix an individuals personal problems...we have to want to change before progress can be made.
5/16/2014 6:02:16 PM
Ringettemom says:
What the hell are you talking about, are you saying all these women have some sort of lifestyle issues and therefore deserve to be treated as inferior because they are aboriginal? Because if you have intimate knowledge of each of these cases you probably want to contact the task force. What a stupid thing to say and pretty much racist. You DONT get it.
I had a foster sister who flew to bc for a camping and hiking trip. No one had heard from her or her other girlfriend in a couple of days, no one knew that their vehicle had broken down and they were stuck behind a washout for 2 days. Police did NOT go looking. The same exact weekend a group of 4 white kids were towed back to shawskup after their drunk driver rolled their van into a ditch. The point is that you have no idea what anyone's lifestyle is yet it affects investigating missing reports and obviously this could have prevented deaths.
On another not you have NO right to say someone should stay missing just because of any lifestyle
5/17/2014 8:13:26 AM
ou812 says:
No, they are saying lifestyle OFTEN plays a role in being murdered... it is not racist to say that.

I love how people throw the race word out there ALL THE TIME
5/19/2014 6:58:00 PM
Enquirer says:
Hit the nail on the head!

I cannot think of even one instance in anyone's life where external circumstances played a role in how they grew up.

E.g, those children who were born into abusive families (mental/physical/sexual), they should look within as to why they were abused in the first place; it is painfully obvious that lifestyle choices got them there in the first place; yes, even at the age of 4!

I look to those same kids and young adults and think, geez, why didn't you take ownership of your life and pick your parents a bit more carefully? Better yet, at the age of 10, why are you clearly deciding on your own to live in a high risk area for crime and other deviancy?

That is just lunacy if people believe that person can't take control of their lives and learn different ways of living before they hit adulthood, even if they are completely immersed and surrounded by such horrible things and essentially that is all they were ever taught.


/sarcasm
Seriously, "tired", get help.
5/17/2014 10:42:01 AM
mazda323 says:
what about all the missing and murdered non-aboriginal women...don't they count??
5/16/2014 7:22:31 PM
tsb says:
If there were a proportional number of missing and murdered non-aboriginal women to the amount of missing and murdered aboriginal women, the total number of missing and murdered women would be over 17,000 individuals. That exceeds the actual number of all homicides in Canada for the same period by more than 10%.

An aboriginal woman in Canada is about 10 times more likely to be murdered than a non-aboriginal woman in Canada. That is why this particular issue affecting this particular demographic is so concerning.
5/17/2014 11:46:08 AM
ranma says:
Nice propaganda here tbnewswatch. I know it is not your story, but the fact that non aboriginal crimes, and aboriginal crimes had such a close solve percentage, shows that the RCMP were in fact doing their job, and that these "leaders" should apologize to the RCMP.

The leaders said that the RCMP were not doing their job, that they were racist when it came to solving aboriginal crimes. The facts state for themselves, that the RCMP did in fact do their job.

This story also leaves out the fact that the majority of murders against Aboriginal women were as follows, an acquaintance (30 per cent), spouse (29 per cent), or family member (24 per cent).

So the majority of these crimes were committed by aboriginals.

There is no grand conspiracy to kill aboriginal women, unless it is a conspiracy created by aboriginal men.
5/17/2014 1:08:18 AM
Garrett says:
Aboriginals only marry other aboriginals? And hang out with other aboriginals?

Picton was white and all his white friends knew about what he did and even tried to tell police numerous times. How many who men got killed because no one cared about this group of largely aboriginal women kept going missing? Who cares they're just natives right?

5/17/2014 2:30:25 PM
Curmudgeon says:
According to statistics mentioned on the TBT Newshour, this issue enjoys a 90% resolution of cases, similar to that of other criminal cases. I'm not clear as to what sets this matter apart from other like cases given that 9 of 10 case files can be closed. Clarification please?
5/17/2014 1:41:25 AM
Melvin Pitt-Balsam says:
Well, Grand Chief, I think the "next logical step" is for the men in your community to ask themselves what they can do to bring the number of missing and murdered aborignal women down to zero. Do they treat their wives, sisters, daughters and mothers with the respect they deserve? Do they set a fine example for their brothers and sons? What is the incidence of absent fathers in First Nation families, and what role could that possibly play in this sad situation. Ask yourself honestly....

An inquiry would be yet another opportunity to deflect blame away the true culprits...the person looking back in the mirror.
5/17/2014 7:46:23 AM
gremlin says:
"I think the next logical step would be for the government to call for an inquiry to find out HOW this all happened" Fiddler said.

You've got to be kidding right?

I think "tired" said it as nicely as possible.

I'll leave it there.

5/17/2014 3:01:03 PM
ranma says:
tsb get your facts straight. In the 30 year time period, there were 20313 murders in Canada. So at 1181 murdered or missing females being Aboriginal, that was 16% of ALL females that were murdered or missing. That means that 83% of all female murder victims were NOT Aboriginal. So simple math will tell you, there were 6551 female murders in Canada during that time period.

So women account for 32% of ALL murders in Canada. And Aboriginal women are NOT 10 times more likely to be murdered than a non Aboriginal women.

The other take away from this, is Non Aboriginal females are more likely to be killed by their spouse, where as Aboriginals are more likely to be killed by their friends.
5/17/2014 8:23:52 PM
Shortpeter says:
Unless I am misreading the numbers, the article states that 16% of all female murder victims are aboriginal (1017). That means 84% (around 5300) of all female murder victims are non aboriginal. Should there not be an inquiry into these women as well?
5/17/2014 8:24:37 PM
Leith Dunick says:
Not that I really want to wade into this, but...

I think what you're conveniently forgetting to include is the population data. According to Stats Canada, in 2011 Aboriginal women made up just 4.3 per cent of the female population in Canada. So an Aboriginal woman is about 3.7 times more likely to be murdered than a non-Aboriginal woman.

First Nations leaders are not suggesting non-Aboriginal deaths are any less tragic, but they're looking for answers and solutions to fix the problem within their communities. That's their mandate. The report also suggests there are twice as many murdered and missing Aboriginal women than first thought.

Perhaps an across-the-board inquiry is needed. I don't know. But First Nations leaders wouldn't be the ones to call for it. Maybe ask the federal justice minister.

5/17/2014 11:46:21 PM
Enquirer says:
Leith! How dare you bring numbers and logic into this!

Don't you know it is easier to blame the victim in this? Don't you know it is easier to attack statisticians' work when the most statistical training these people had was calculating how much time they would spend off TBNewswatch not trolling in a day?

Jeez. You got some nerve, buddy.

You give this a long hard think before you come on here trying to bring some order to this chaos!

On a serious note, can you tell me if there are any plans in the future to revamp the commenting system to discourage multiple accounts? Honest question, and I promise not tongue in cheek. I am legitimately curious if there are plans to redesign TBNewswatch or certain aspects of it. Thanks!
5/18/2014 2:17:21 AM
Leith Dunick says:
I think Scott is tinkering with something, and we've certainly had discussions about the comment section, etc. and how to improve it. Facebook and DISQUS are options, but I see far too much much racism and ignorance in comment sections using them to feel comfortable implementing them here. The problem is the comments get posted automatically, and have to be removed after users report them. Under our system, we remove the hateful, libelous ones before they see the light of day. And there are plenty of them. The good thing about DISQUS is if a user is banned elsewhere (or here), they're banned across every site that uses the platform.

One way or another we will be tightening things up in the not-too-distant future.
5/18/2014 1:54:18 PM
Enquirer says:
Leith, this is excellent news and I want to thank you very much for providing some insight into this issue.

I am happy to hear that things will be tightened up in the near future as I think it will make this website overall a much more enjoyable place for discussion. Inevitably, this is going to make a few members here sweat.

Any move toward a one person/one membership name is a good move in my opinion. I only ask that you request of Scott that whatever system is implemented, have an IP requirement so as to make multiple accounts more difficult to get.

As I have said before, and not tongue in cheek this time, if there is any help I can provide in terms of programming or implementation of a new system, please let me know. I have extensive experience in databasing (MySQL, etc.) as well as several front end languages (PHP, ASP, etc.). I have also had my fair share of trouble forum members that I have had to ban using proxy IP ranges in my hosts file.

Thanks again!
5/18/2014 2:10:28 PM
pc says:
So we have an national inquiry into this. Then it is found out that Aboriginal men and women are the main cause for the murders and gone missing women.
What will the Aboriginal leaders do with the information?
Will they start an inquiry into how this is happening?
Will they want the federal gov. to do something about it without screaming racist when they try to point fingers?
Will they let the courts rule when an aboriginal is found guilty?
Will they change the life style on the reserves to make it more in line with the real world?
In other words, go after the abusers, and not blame the children who are abused.
Will they let women know if they come forward they will be helped and the abuser will be held accountable?
It is all well and good to have the inquiry but only if when the results are found something will change.
Without the change nothing changes.
5/18/2014 7:03:42 AM
Shortpeter says:
Your missing a very serious point. If First Nations are looking to solve the problems within their own community, then they should get to it. The chiefs are have all the authority they need to call their own inquiry into what happens in their own community. No one is stopping them from having an honest discussion amongst themselves about their own issues. They just took over the education file. They can do this.
By the way, the stats only mean what you want them to mean. Whether it is 10 times or 3.734563824 times or what ever per cent you use, there is an issue. The use of stats here is to try and manipulate figures to imply that a certain community is being discriminated against, when it is not.
5/18/2014 7:35:09 AM
ranma says:
If the chiefs didn't keep their people poor on purpose, this tragedy would quite possibly not have happened. You can take a similar situation in the USA, where poor black on black violence is a major problem. It is a problem with the people being poor and the socioeconmic situation they are in.

We have dumped BILLIONS into helping First Nations, and obviously money is not the issue. Dissolve their treaties, make them no longer wards of the state, and allow them to own their houses on their reserves. It may allow them to finally have some pride. Afterall, well all known what your typical house looks like on a remote reserve..
5/18/2014 1:29:12 PM
ranma says:
Garret, for the most part, yes. Even look at our history here in Thunder Bay. Most aboriginals that were killed, were killed by another aboriginal. How many times in our history has an aboriginal victim been killed by a non aboriginal? Not very many if any. Most deaths that we have, were either drug or alcohol induced, and they were friends or drinking buddies who got into a fight.
5/18/2014 1:31:56 PM
ranma says:
The last take away I think we as a society should have from this, is even though an Aboriginal woman is only 3-4 times more likely to be killed than a non Aboriginal women, Aboriginal men are 12x more likely to be killed than non Aboriginal men.

Where is the outrage on that? Aboriginal men are 4x more likely to be killed than Aboriginal women! So if we are in shock over the amount of Aboriginal women being killed, we should be overwhelmed by the amount of Aboriginal men who were killed.

Who I am kidding, no one cares when men die. If they did, then they would be the focus of this. But nope. No one cares.
5/19/2014 3:34:49 PM
shortpeter says:
How about Edward Snowden or Homeland Security getting involved in these dark sinister days of multiple accounts. Need to ferret someone out, or make them sweat, Putin!
While your at it, look into those black unmarked helicopters.
Signed IPman
5/19/2014 4:50:14 PM
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