Prime Minister Stephen Harper has consistently refused to convene a national inquiry into the high incidence of unsolved murders and disappearances of indigenous women.

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

David P. Ball

3. Provincial Leaders

At the annual meeting of all Canada's provincial and territorial leaders—the counterparts of governors in the U.S.—the call for a national inquiry was taken up at perhaps the highest Canadian level yet last July.

“The premiers at the table agreed to support the call of the Native Women's Association of Canada for a national public inquiry on this very, very important issue,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told CBC News after the gathering's endorsement.

Premiers of Canada's provinces. (Photo: David P. Ball)

“It speaks to the most vulnerable people in our community, and when they go missing, we all are worse off,” said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, whose prairie province has the highest concentration of aboriginal people in the country to the National Post. “We want to make sure that they’re safe, that our streets our safe and young women are safe, regardless of who they are.”

Selinger was joined in the inquiry endorsement by the rest of his provincial counterparts, including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, as well as the rest of the premiers including Alberta's premier Alison Redford and Newfoundland's Kathy Dunderdale, who issued their own statements backing an inquiry despite not being in attendance at the gathering.

But unsurprisingly, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development minister Bernard Valcourt dismissed the high-profile demand.

“I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist, and I don’t think you need a national inquiry, to find out what the problem is,” Valcourt told the National Post. “This is happening because, we know, of the legacy of decades of policies towards First Nations that have resulted into what we have today. What is the way out? The way out is not to study anymore. The way out is to take action.”

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