Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press file photo
Posters of missing or murdered indigenous women are displayed at a vigil in Canada.

Another International Call for Inquiry Into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada


Indigenous leaders in Canada have welcomed yet another report urging the federal government to examine the disproportionate rate of violence against aboriginal women, but the government does not seem any closer to convening one.

This time the call came from the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which released a report earlier this month and said the lack of a national inquiry to date constitutes a “grave violation of human rights,” according to report authors Niklas Bruun and Barbara Bailey.

“Aboriginal women and girls are more likely to be victims of violence than men or non-Aboriginal women, and they are more likely to die as a result,” said CEDAW members Bruun and Bailey in a statement after issuing the report on March 6. “Yet, despite the seriousness of the situation, the Canadian State has not sufficiently implemented measures to ensure that cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women are effectively investigated and prosecuted.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has found that 16 percent of murdered women and girls are indigenous, as are 11 percent of those who went missing between 1980 and 2012, the National Post reported. In comparison, they make up just four percent of the population.

“The violence inflicted on aboriginal women is often rooted in the deep socioeconomic inequalities and discrimination their communities face and which can be traced back to the period of colonisation,” said Bruun and Bailey. “During the inquiry, NGOs indicated to us that young aboriginal women are five times more likely than other Canadian women of the same age to die of violence. Aboriginal women and girls also experience high levels of sexual abuse and violence in their own families and communities, as well as within wider society.”

RELATED: Aboriginal Women 'Overrepresented' Among Violence Victims: RCMP

In all, CEDAW recommended 38 measures that Canada should take, one of them being a national inquiry. Another involves developing a national plan to address violence against indigenous women in all its forms, CEDAW said in its statement. Bruun and Bailey visited Canada in 2013 and spoke to numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as well as the Canadian government. What they found reflected what many others have said before.

CEDAW is just the latest group advocating for a national inquiry into exactly why indigenous women are more prone to experiencing violence than others in the population. In January the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), a branch of the Organization of American States, came to the same conclusion.

RELATED: Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada Is Needed: IACHR

However, the government has consistently refused, saying that enough studies had been done. As recently as March 30, the federal Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch reiterated the government line, that there have already been numerous studies of the matter, and that action is what’s needed.

“We don't need more lawyers looking at what the problem is,” she told Vice in a March 30 story. “We need people acting on the problem so that these families are supported so that these families have answers to their questions. We're not going to achieve more by looking at the same issue and having more lawyers write more documents.”

But indigenous leaders said an in-depth look at the colonial underpinnings of the problem is necessary, and such a study has not been done.

“Canada’s inaction in regard to missing and murdered Indigenous women is getting increasing international attention, and this latest from CEDAW calling it a ‘grave violation of human rights’ cannot be ignored,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde in a statement. “The loss of almost 1,200 indigenous women and girls is not an indigenous issue, it’s a Canadian issue. We continue to push for a national inquiry that would identify the root causes of violence, and for coordinated action across all jurisdictions to prevent and address violence against our sisters, mothers and daughters.”

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) also supported CEDAW’s findings and emphasized the necessity of implementing the group's recommendations.

“We absolutely reject the baseless stance taken by the Harper government that a national inquiry is not needed,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the UBCIC, in a statement. “As we continue to stress, to truly address and eliminate the tragic and devastating issues of violence against indigenous women and girls, the Harper government must be compelled and forced to examine the intersecting and deeply-rooted factors of poverty, colonialism and systemic racism. In finding that Canada is violating the rights of Indigenous women and girls, this critical and urgent report by CEDAW strengthens and builds on the comprehensive reports released by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples James Anaya and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”

RELATED: Crisis! U.N. Rapporteur Slams Canada for Dealings With Indigenous Peoples

“This is an extremely important report for Canada,” said Dawn Harvard, interim president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), in a statement. “Canada has been told, first by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, and now by the United Nations CEDAW Committee, that Canada’s failures to act violate the human rights of Aboriginal women.”

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David E.H. Smith's picture
David E.H. Smith
Submitted by David E.H. Smith on
More POLITICAL INTERFERENCE of RCMP Investigations 'kills' Female Aboriginal Advocates, RCMP officers' morale & DE-RAILS & Controls 'INQUIRIES'/Commissions. Do Native Women, et al, Have the Right to Freedom of Fear of Retribution; "DISAPPEARED" & "SUICIDE-D" Activists along "DEATH-POTS" Highway (#16)? Native Women, et al, Expectations of Freedom from Fear of Retribution in Due Diligence Info SHARING & Consultations; Deliberate,'Illegal', &/or, Unethical DEPRIVATION of INFO Re; 'Domestic' & Foreign Treaties Basis for Suing Corp.Can. & its Global Assocs. Corporate Assocs. to Sue Corp.Can. for Fraud While Reopening Both Treaties to Guarantee Provisions of The WAD Accord & Transparent Negotiations to Access Natural Resources? HUMAN NATURE; How Cultures & Traditions can be used to explain Corruption, Info Deprivation & Bullying to Protect the Power of 'Death-Pots'. Does CORPORATE CANADA Prefer Limelight on 'Race' not Shareholders' Dividends versus harmless NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native? CorpCan's 'FOREIGN' ASSOCIATES, TERRIFIED if Native Male Political Leaders Implicated in 'Disappearing' Native Women's Advocates. After reading about the fears of retaliation of the Native Canadian women at the Special House of Commons Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women, by powerful chiefs & councils for questioning & improving the chiefs/councils plans & decisions, etc., it has been suggested that it might be easier to minimize any potential for negative 'stereo typing' of Native chiefs & their councils by: 1) the most vulnerable Native community members (95% - 99% of the members of Native communities), 2) non Native funders of Native communities & 3) et al, by pointing out once again, but, with greater emphasis, that the most vulnerable community members, both; Native & non Native, are slowly & painfully becoming aware of the threat that is posed to the bullying, information depriving despots (Death-Pots) by way of the sharing of the relevant information, in forums that have eliminated the fear of retaliation. And, therefore, in regard to the recent, June 5, 2014, comments by the grand chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians Gordon Peters about negative 'stereotypes', it has also been suggested that Mr. Peters needn't be concerned as Native & non Native Canadians have made: 1) the distinctions between the bullying despots & the most vulnerable community members & 2) the distinctions between those chiefs & councils that want/need their community members to start getting the relevant information, including the information & questions in The WAD Accord & its Compensation and those chiefs & councils who need to keep their community members in the dark in order to supplicate the most 'vulnerables' to limited beliefs & 'hopes' and thereby, maintain, &/or, enhance their abusive powers. Perhaps, Mr. Peters can take some solace in knowing that he may be able to learn more about which bullying, information depriving despots are presently being 'de-stereotyped'. Some of the chiefs & councils may even graciously admit that some of the more abusive aspects of human nature are being used & rationalized by despots by claims that the abuse of their power is based upon tradition, &/or, culture that excludes the comprehension of the abuses by non Natives. Doesn't this suggest that unless you are in the position of being able to be bullied, etc., then you are incapable of, &/or, should be prohibited from helping those who are being bullied by providing the information & safe forums for the discussion, sharing, improving information, plans, etc. before they become a decision that are acted upon & the human costs are added up? There are many examples of this 'helping' precedent in other human communities around the globe. The potential sponsors of this 'helping process' understand the importance of identifying, investigating, prosecuting & enforcing the prevention of the abusers from continuing their abuse. Similarly, the potential sponsors can assist the most vulnerable community members to ascertain the amount of compensation they are due for previous abuse. These sponsors who are being considered have also observed & understand that the political abuse of the RCMP is causing a great deal of morale problems within the non union service (see; Paul Palango; 'Dispersing the Fog'). Therefore, it is for the aforementioned reasons that the potential sponsors would like to be considered to help the most vulnerable community members eliminate their fears & help the most vulnerable develop the natural resources that are accessed by way of the community's lands. These are also the lands that have already been secretly 'negotiated', &/or, are in the process of being secretly 'negotiated' within Canada by way of the despots & without the full due diligence sharing of the information with the most vulnerable community members. There are several reasons why some of these foreign corporate sponsors might be considered. They are: 1) basically, to understand & perhaps prevent bullying despots from making secret arrangements whereby, in exchange for: a) the despots' cooperation to endorse the last minute 'new' &'improved' environmental & safety standards, etc. for their projects that may be derived from the C – CI Treaty, the EU – Canada CET Agreement, the TP Partnership, et al & b) the 'protection' provided by the bullies for the potential foreign participants/ investors from the most vulnerable community members, the potential foreign participants/investors may exclusively & secretly reward the bullies financially & thereby, further legitimize the bullies power & control by way the bullies' mechanisms of fear. 2) some of the potential foreign participants are as disgusted with the 'unethical' & 'inhumane' arrangements of corporate Canada & their representatives in the government of Canada as many Native & non Native Canadians, et al, are. One potential participant said: 'It's not that we are racist when it comes to dealing with Canadians, it's just that we can't stand the way that you suck up to us'. That is to say; while corporate Canada & its political representatives 'suck up' to the 'coveted' foreign investor, the 'Canadians' also 'shi...', uh, “purge down”. It may be regrettable that this bullying is just part of human nature? Isn't our job to identify & to minimize, &/or, eliminate it. Therefore, while the most vulnerable Native community members may be looking for a much 'better' deal that protects their rights to live & express themselves in the absence of fear, isn't it reasonable to assume that they can also expect to start getting the aforementioned relevant information for their humble consideration, including The Compensation that is embodied in The W.A.D. Accord? So, does the 'much better deal' by way of these 'foreign' countries include: 1) the elimination of the bullying by the information depriving despots, & 2) enabling the employment opportunities that can equal those non Native Canadians & then use the “better deal” to shrink the financial disparity between: the 95% - 99% of the communities' most vulnerable members & the 1% - 5% of the existing political & financial bullies, both; Native & non Native? & 3) et al. But, aren't the above reasons why The W.A.D. Accord (aka; The Australian Question) was developed in the first place? That is to say, The Accord was developed in order to ensure that the most vulnerable community members are getting the relevant information & are getting the opportunity to consider, to discuss, to ask questions about it, to improve, to create alternatives, to reject, etc., the information & questions in The Accord, including The Compensation that is embodied in it? By way of closing, now that Mr. Peters' concerns about negative stereotyping have been laid to rest, the most vulnerable community members, et al, might also consider some of the other areas of information that they are continuing to be deprived of that can be, &/or, are being abused by the the aforementioned bullies in order to strengthen their, the bullies', 'legitimacy' besides: 1) the on going land settlements & treaty rights negotiations, 2) the development of Aboriginal self-governance & 3) et al? And, finally, how do you, the readers in North America, China, the European Union, the Trans Pacific nations, et al, think that these human nature issues can be redressed by The WAD Accord? I look forward to reading about your questions, your comments, your improvements, etc., regarding the above & the information listed below. Sincerely, David E.H. Smith - Researcher - “Qui tam..." ****** Also see; "HELP IS ON THE WAY; UN's Mr. Anaya, et al." ****** Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others & so on... ****** To SHARE Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics in 1) the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement, TPP, et al, and 2) Native Canadian Treaties via The WAD Accord & to access the List of RECENT ARTICLES, LETTERS & NOTIFICATIONS by DEHS. see;