FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO
One of several vigils held annually to honor and call for an inquiry into the murders and disappearances of aboriginal women in Canada.

Nearly 1,200 Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada: RCMP

ICTMN Staff
5/3/14

The official tally of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada has hit nearly 1,200—and it’s not Native groups giving this number, it’s the country’s own police force.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Thursday May 1 confirmed to reporters that its own data search had yielded 1,186 cases of indigenous women—1,026 who had been murdered and 160 of whom are missing—over the past 30 years. This dwarfed the previous high number of 824 determined by a researcher in Ottawa earlier this year, as the Winnipeg Free Press reported in January. Even that number was higher than figures compiled by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, which had documented 582 cases.

The latest revelation came after the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) learned on April 30 that “more than 1,000” women had been documented as missing or murdered. The RCMP would “not confirm or deny” that number, APTN reported.

On May 1, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulsen revealed the exact number to reporters after testifying before a Parliamentary committee, APTN said. The RCMP will release the full data within a month, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney told the committee, according to APTN.

Reaction has been swift and outraged, starting with the official Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).

“The Ottawa area has about a million inhabitants,” said NDP leader Tom Mulcair, according to APTN. “Imagine if a thousand women had been murdered or missing in Ottawa. Do you think we’d have to beg for an inquiry?”

The revelations sparked renewed calls for a national inquiry into the issue, which the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly said it would not do.

RELATED: 10 Unheeded Calls for a Canadian Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Blaney told Parliament that an inquiry would not serve as much purpose as the $25 million that has been allocated for the issue in the Conservative government’s federal budget for 2014, the Canadian Press reported.

In all, aboriginal women are three times more likely to become the target of violence than non-aboriginal women, according to government data reported by the Star in January. Several high-profile cases over the years have brought attention to the matter. Last July the body of 25-year-old Bella Laboucan-McLean, the sister of environmental and indigenous-rights activist Melina Laboucan-Massimo, was found at the foot of a high-rise in Toronto. Although six people were inside the 31st-floor condo that she fell from, her death remains unsolved.

RELATED: Mysterious, Tragic Death of Aboriginal Activist's Sister Renews Calls for National Inquiry

Earlier this year the case of murdered Inuit student Loretta Saunders broke hearts across the country but especially in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she had been researching the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women for her thesis at Saint Mary’s University.

RELATED: Inuit Student's Murder Sparks Renewed Calls for National Violence Inquiry

In her research, which her advisor Darryl Leroux called brilliant, the pregnant 26-year-old wrote about the ongoing effects of colonialism on the perception and treatment of indigenous women.

RELATED: In Honor of Loretta Saunders

“Despite feeling hesitant at times, I refuse to remain quiet, feel ashamed and embarrassed about the struggles and hardships that were strategically developed and designed for me through colonial practices and policies as well as societal norms that emerged as part of the colonizers plan to assimilate and eliminate Indigenous peoples,” Saunders wrote in her thesis proposal, released by Leroux and her sister. “I refuse to allow my past dictate my future and define who I am.”

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bullbear's picture
bullbear
Submitted by bullbear on
This is absolutely sickening! What kind of a nation allows over 1,000 deaths of its citizens to occur and then turns a blind eye to all those who are impacted. I am speaking about fathers, mothers, grandparents, spouses, children and grandchildren. I am an American citizen who grew up with high regard for the RCMP because I thought they were great protectors and rescuers of people in distress. However, the more I have read about them and their disregard to help Canadians First Citizens, the less I feel pride which is slowly becoming disgust of their indiscretion. If worst comes to worst, it would not be out of line for aboriginal women to start taking training on the use of firearms for self-defense measures. I don't condone use of firearms, but the fact is that the very system that is required by law to investigate all homicides and allow news agencies to ask questions and report to the public has failed beyond comprehension to protect innocent women one by one, ten by ten and hundred by hundred. I am certain that individuals who murdered these women have not stopped at one. It is astonishing that on an average five women/year over a 30-year period have gone missing and no authority has the foggiest notion of who, what or where. The time for wait-and-see has been exceeded long ago. Absolutely horrendous!!

Waabooz Biboon's picture
Waabooz Biboon
Submitted by Waabooz Biboon on
A house divided and fallen is what the NeoCons and all Right-wing extremists want. In our chaos and state of panic, they can grab off and control us and everything else. These oil based Fortune 500 families want to create a small, dominant elite that will control the essentials of life (food, water, energy, medical, governments,) so they can control every aspect of the planet. Chaos, anarchy, confusion and grief are the tools and trademark they are using around the world. The Koch brothers are the money behind the Tea Party in America. Their father, Frederick Chase Koch, was a chemical engineer who developed a process for refining OIL. This is the basis of their fortune. So, just like the Bush family, the Koch family members are OIL people coming at us once again. Koch Industries declared over 100 BILLION dollars in profits in 2012, and thanks to rigged US tax laws, they didn't pay taxes on it, either. But Fred C. Koch also co-founded the John Birch Society which has identical conservative values as that of Hitler's Aryan Nation philosophy. That is, a small class of dominant White elite. And the John Birch Society is part of the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity matrix that are the conduits for Koch money which feeds the Tea Party. Considering how Hitler's philosophies played out, is it any wonder that the legacy that has come down through such adherents result in people who are basically heart dead, if not brain dead? Yet, the general attitude of the public is that these men are just successful businessmen to be revered, admired and emulated in their replacement of a loving, charitable "god" (values) with the myopic and selfish acquisition of obscene amounts of money; even though their Bible speaks out against such Golden Calf hording and reverence for money v. fellow living beings. As a local as well as a global society, we need to refocus our attention on taking care of people, animals, and the planet (First Nations' philosophy) and stop the incessant chasing after money if we are going to save ourselves from complete extinction. (Did you know that 17 species are going extinct every hour?... scary.) So, basically our choice is: Hitler's Nazi / NeoCon, Koch brothers, Right-wing Tea Party philosophy, OR First Nations' (American Indians / Indigenous people's ) philosophy. I know which one I'm choosing. West Winds

indianmedicine's picture
indianmedicine
Submitted by indianmedicine on
Growing Up, I use to watch Sergeant Preston of The Mounties-and that show reflected genuine caring of "The People" by The RCMP - which made them "Hero's" in the eye's of Children........................................................................... ................................................................................................................................. I am appalled at the apparent "lack" of Care and Compassion for the lives of these "Women", who are Wives, Mothers,Daughters, Sisters, Nieces, Aunts, and Grand Mothers to someone.......................................................................... .................................................................................................................................. I am a Honorably Retired Peace Officer, and I find it difficult to see that another "Law Enforcement Officer" has no professional care for the lives of its Nation's Citizens - irrespective of the Ethnic Origin........................................................... .................................................................................................................................. It is time, that Canada creates a National Task Force, comprising of Federal and Local Law Enforcement to address this very SERIOUS ISSUE................ .................................................................................................................................. It is also time for Local Government to direct their Local Law Enforcement in addressing this Problem of its Citizens and obtain REAL CASE RESULTS. .................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................. The Local Prosecutors Office needs to be Active in this Task Force and with its Local Law Enforcement effort, to Court Proof its Cases................................ ................................................................................................................................... With the Numbers reflected, odds are there is a "Serial Killer(s)" At Large - because there appears to be a pattern in these Numbers somewhere............ ................................................................................................................................... I would venture to say that even "The Royal Family" is shocked at this Question; for Canada and The First People's" have always held The Queen in High Regard for her Compassion, and Wisdom directed toward her "People". ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... I offer my Condolences to the Family's and Friends for their Loss - and ask The Creator to replace that loss with Knowledge and Proper Closure for those Women who no longer Walk Among Us............................................................... .................................................................................................................................. I ask The Law Enforcement Officers and Agencies to make their "Best Effort" in resolving these Cases and magnitude of a "National Crises" for Canada. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. "The Thin Blue Line Separates The Light of Good From The Darkness Evil" ................................................................................................................................. -De Oppresso Liber-..................................................... "To Protect and Serve" .................................................................................................................................

twocrows59's picture
twocrows59
Submitted by twocrows59 on
The jest of this report is the death toll and the missing indigenous females, the RCMP has their count and the WAC has theirs, instead of arguing over that I believe this time would be better spent trying to find an answer to avoid it from happening, our women are and should be made safe from it ever happening to them. Our women began our lives and they and the woman to come are our future.
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