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

5. Churches

Canada's Christian churches have much to repent for when it comes to the country's colonial history. From the 19th century right up until 1996, almost every major denomination operated residential schools that have since been condemned for sexually and physically abusing thousands of aboriginal children, killing several thousand, and attempting to destroy Native culture.

ThinkstockOne of those churches was the relatively liberal United Church of Canada, but in the late 1980s it became the first denomination to formally apologize to aboriginal people for its role in the schools. Last year, Canada's largest Protestant church also became the first to join calls for a national inquiry into missing women.

“Clearly our justice and social systems are not offering adequate protection against violence for Indigenous women in this country,” said the denomination's General Secretary Nora Sanders in a statement. “We take very seriously the deadly violence to which these women and girls have been subjected, and believe that Indigenous women and girls deserve to be safe, as do all Canadians. This tragedy must be addressed as a step towards returning to healthy and thriving Aboriginal families, communities and nations in Canada.”

NWAC's joint statement calling for an inquiry was signed by several other religious communities, including a founding signatory in KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, an interdenominational Christian umbrella coalition that also includes some Catholic and Evangelical churches and organizations as well as most major mainstream Protestants.

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